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Casey Stoner is riding for Honda at Suzuka, now it looks like Yamaha is putting huge pressure on Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to participate as well.


But what isn’t that public is what is going on backstage behind this year’s Suzuka 8 Hours. This year is Yamaha’s 60th anniversary, a very important date for the Iwata-based company, and a great way to celebrate the anniversary would be with a win in the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours. The company’s last win was in 1996, when Noriyuki Haga and Texan Colin Edwards won for the last time for Yamaha.
To win at the Honda-owned track would be also be an excellent promotional opportunity for Yamaha’s marketing department to continue hyping the all-new 2015 R1, a bike designed using MotoGP experience and with the collaboration of Valentino Rossi, who traveled to Japan to help during the development phase.
Preparations have been in the works for several years. Last year the Yamaha team switched to bridgestones in a surprise move, not so much of a surprise now as they needed to tweak the bike setup to 'accept' the bridgestones (which of course are MotoGP spec tires)

Valentino even had a hand in developing the new R1... Maybe also in preparation?
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