Suzuka 8 Hours 2022: “We have absolutely everything to fight for victory,” said Markus Reiterberger, captain of the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team factory team. If the team led by Werner Demon does this, it will completely turn the course of history.
Since 1978, that is, for 42 seasons, only Japanese factories – Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, and Kawasaki – have been fighting for victory at the Suzuka 8 Hours, and this has always been their sandbox.
But with the appearance of the BMW Motorrad factory team in the FIM EWC championship, priorities may change. Having won the SPA 24 Hours race, the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team decided to turn the course of history: there is no reason why Reiterberger, Guarnoni, and Michalczyk could not win the 8-hour race.
The only reason is the absence of the Belgian team at the tests in Suzuka in July, where the Japanese prepared everything for the decisive battle. Plus, Ilya Mikhalchik will enter this track for the first time (in 2020 and 2021, Suzuka 8 Hours was canceled due to the pandemic). But Guarnoni and Reiterberger know the track.
“We will follow the same rule in this 8-hour race as in the 24-hour race: a constant attack at full throttle,” said Marcus. “Suzuka is special, very Japanese in everything. And the Japanese know its secrets too well, they have a lot of experience, especially in the strategy of using tires, which we do not have. We’ll have to learn fast.”
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“But we are the only European official manufacturer that will come to the start, and all eyes will be on us. So we will try to achieve the best possible result. Of course, we want to win. We have everything for this. The minimum is the podium. But we will see the reality after the test day in Suzuki.”
Reiterberger performed at the Suzuka 8 Hours as part of the Rico Pentzkofer Penz13 Team once. Guarnoni traveled to Japan several times, both for tests and for races.
At the end of the week, hot weather is expected with air temperatures above +30-32 degrees, but the situation this year is different since the humidity is significantly lower than it was in 2018 and 2019 due to the lack of rains. This could have a positive impact on the chances of the European team in Japan, where it could easily be +38-40 on the day of the race.