Test Day 1
EWC 2024
Round 3

Team HRC with Japan Post Fourth Fastest in Day 1 of Tests

jp Suzuka Circuit

On Wednesday June 19, the first test session organized by Suzuka Circuit was held at Suzuka Circuit in preparation for the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Road Race (Suzuka 8 Hours, to be held on Sunday, July 21).

Team HRC with Japan Post Fourth Fastest in Day 1 of Tests

46 teams, including FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) teams, seeded teams based on last year’s Suzuka 8 Hours results, teams that qualified through two 8 Hours tryouts, and teams recommended by the organizers, have entered the Suzuka 8 Hours. 40 teams participated in the test session.

Riders for this year’s Team HRC with Japan Post which aims for its third consecutive victory, Takumi Takahashi, Teppei Nagoe, and Johann Zarco assembled for the first time. Kohta Arakawa also participated in the test as the team’s fourth rider. SDG Team HARC-PRO. Honda’s entire team, Yuki Kunii, Naomichi Uramoto, and Mario Aji also participated.

Honda Asia-Dream Racing with Astemo was represented by Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi, Andi Farid Izdihar, and Nakarin Atiratphuvapat.

Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing, yet to officially announce its team, was represented by Kohta Nozane, Kosuke Sakumoto, and Pasawit Thitivararak. TOHO Racing was represented by Ryuichi Kiyonari, Kazuki Watanabe, and Ikuhiro Enokido. Honda DREAM RT Sakurai Honda was represented by Kazuki Ito and Daijiro Hiura. All three Team ATJ with docomo business riders, Satoru Iwata, Kouki Suzuki, and Yuta Okaya were also present.

So far, Team HRC with Japan Post has conducted three tests, including a private test. Today and tomorrow will be the last tests before the race. In today’s sessions, Zarco, who will make his first appearance in Suzuka 8 Hours, was supported by Takahashi, a Suzuka 8 Hours specialist and the team’s lead rider. Both riders were on track, with Takahashi leading Zarco, and on occasion Takahashi trailing to advise Zarco on how to tackle the Suzuka circuit. Zarco rapidly improved his lap times and demonstrated his qualities as a MotoGP rider.

The 40 participating teams were divided into groups A and B. For each group, a 45-minute Session 1 in the morning, a 45-minute Session 2 in the afternoon, a 75-minute Session 3, and a 70-minute night-session starting at 6:40 pm, Session 4, was allocated for teams to test their bikes.

In Session 1, Team HRC with Japan Post set the fastest lap with 2 min 06.867s. Team ATJ with docomo business was 8th with 2 min 08.231s, and Honda DREAM RT Sakurai Honda was 9th fastest with 2 min 08.309s.

In Session 2, Team HRC with Japan Post was 6th fastest with 2 min 08.472s, Honda DREAM RT Sakurai Honda was 7th with 2 min 08.544s, Team ATJ with docomo business was 9th with 2 min 08.633s, and SDG Team HARC-PRO. Honda was 10th with 2 min 08.809s.

In Session 3, Team HRC with Japan Post was 3rd fastest with a time of 2 min 07.304s, Honda DREAM RT Sakurai Honda was 6th with 2 min 07.661s, and SDG Team HARC-PRO. Honda was 8th with 2 min 07.764s.

In the night session, Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing was 3rd with 2 min 06.987s, followed by SDG Team HARC-PRO in 7th with 2 min 08.723s. Team ATJ with docomo business was 9th with 2 min 08.852s. Team HRC with Japan Post was 10th with 2 min 08.915s.

For the day sessions overall, Team HRC with Japan Post was 4th fastest with 2 min 06.867s.

 Team HRC with Japan Post riders’ best lap times were 2 min 6.867s (Takahashi), 2 min 7.304s (Zarco), and 2 min 7.510s (Nagoe).


Takumi Takahashi
Takumi Takahashi 30
Team HRC with Japan Post
 Our primary goal for this test was to get Zarco used to the bike and the track. I had participated in the previous four manufacturer joint tests, so I tried to pass my experiences on to Zarco. Nagoe is a younger rider, and since I have more Suzuka 8 Hours experience, I want to give him as much advice as I can. I think the test is going well, but there are still some areas that we need to work on, and we will continue to make improvements to get closer to 100%.

Teppei Nagoe
Teppei Nagoe 30
Team HRC with Japan Post
 Zarco joined us for the first time, so he rode one of the two bikes, while Takahashi and I shared the other. I left the set-up to Takahashi. I was able to get a long run in although we have a limited number of tires. We still haven’t matched last year’s Team HRC with Japan Post lap times, but we only need to improve by 0.5s, so we will continue testing to achieve that goal.

Johann Zarco
Johann Zarco 30
Team HRC with Japan Post
The Suzuka 8 Hours is a race with a long history that I have wanted to participate in someday. With the change in the MotoGP schedule which created an interval, I am able to take part in the Suzuka 8 Hours. This was my first time to ride at Suzuka, and I felt it was a circuit that required special skills. I will learn the track with the help of my experienced teammates. The important thing is not to make any mistakes, and I will continue to do my best in the tests.


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