Ben Young to race Suzuka 8 Hours with Team Taro Plus One BMW

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Three-time CSBK champion Ben Young will enter a star-studded field at this year’s prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours event, joining Team Taro Plus One BMW for the historic Endurance World Championship round.

Young, who currently leads the Bridgestone Canadian Superbike Championship standings, will ride alongside former Grand Prix rider Taro Sekiguchi and Kyosuke Okuda (both of Japan) in the Team Taro Plus One garage for his World Endurance debut next month, July 19-21.

The renowned event – launched in 1978 – has grown into the premier race on the EWC calendar, attracting various stars from MotoGP and World Superbike, amongst other series.

Young most recently proved himself against reigning EWC champions YART Yamaha at the Daytona 200, where he finished ninth and just behind the duo of Karel Hanika (fifth) and Marvin Fritz (sixth).

The Collingwood, Ontario native recently completed a private test with Team Taro Plus One BMW at Suzuka, roughly five hours from Tokyo, and felt very comfortable aboard the M1000RR (a similar version to the Van Dolder’s Home Team machine he rides in Canada).

“The bike felt really good, and the team and everyone there is great to deal with,” Young said. “Already we’re about half a second from our target time, so hopefully we can put on a good show and get a strong result.”

The Team Taro Plus One BMW squad finished an impressive 16th out of 50 teams at last year’s Suzuka 8 Hours, achieving a best result of 14th in 2022.

Young’s trip to Suzuka will take place just days after the fourth round of the CSBK season in Nova Scotia, as he chases his fourth Canada Cup and third in a row in 2024.

The 31-year-old has been no stranger to racing in various series and paddocks, having competed in MotoAmerica, British Superbike, and as a wildcard in the 125cc World Championship during his illustrious career.

Only a handful of Canadians have ever competed in the Suzuka 8 Hours through its history, an exclusive list that includes Ruben McMurter, Steve Crevier, and most recently Jordan Szoke, amongst others.

In the meantime, Young will try to extend his lead atop the Canadian Superbike Championship in round two action this weekend, June 7-9, at the Grand Bend Motorplex.

More information can be found on the series’ official website at CSBK.ca.

Main picture: Team Taro Plus One BMW Suzuka 8 Hour riders Kyosuke Okuda (left), Taro Sekiguchi (center), and Ben Young (right). [Photo: Team Taro Plus One BMW].

SOURCE: CSBK

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