Yamaha has finalized its plans for round five of the 2006 Endurance World Championship, the Suzuka 8-hour race held at the Japanese circuit on 30 July.
A three-team entry will be headed by the YAMAHA BLUE RACING team, which will feature riders Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga riding a specially prepared YZF-R1 SP. The event will mark a reunion of the rider pairing which won the event in 1996, when they rode a Yamaha YZF750SP.
Edwards is currently riding a Yamaha YZR-M1 for the factory's MotoGP team and is seen as one of the most consistent riders in the class. The American has won the Suzuka 8-Hour three times and the Superbike World Championship in 2000 and 2002.
Haga is currently second in the Superbike World Championship, where he competes on a Yamaha YZF-R1 for the Yamaha Motor Italia squad. It will be Haga's first entry in the 8-hour since 2001.
The other two factory-supported entries are the YSP Racing Team sponsored by PRESTO Corporation and Team Cha-llenger. The YSP Racing Team sponsored by PRESTO Corporation will enter the pair of Katsuyuki Nakasuga, who is competing this season in the JSB1000 class of the All Japan Championships, and Shinichi Nakatomi, who rides for Yamaha Motor France in the Superbike World Championship.
Team Cha-llenger will enter with riders Norihiko Fujiwara, who has ridden in the 8-hour almost every year since 1992, and Nobuyuki Osaki, a Japanese supersport championship competitor.
Many of the Endurance World Championship regulars will also make the trip to Japan, including Yamaha Austria Racing Team and Yamaha Phase One Endurance, who are currently second and fifth in the championship.