The International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) and promoter Discovery Sports Events released the 2023 Endurance World Championship (EWC) schedule in October, 2022. While the calendar only included four events for the second year in a row, motorcycling’s most iconic race venues make each EWC event a can’t-miss affair.
France’s Bugatti Circuit will kick off the 2023 season on April 23-26, 2023, with the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. From there, the series will travel to Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps for the 24-Hour SPA EWC Motos race on June 16-18, 2023. Once again, the Bol d’Or 24 hours will conclude the season at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France on September 14-17, 2023.
The penultimate race, the Suzuka 8 Hours, slots nicely between the Belgium and second French rounds. Unfortunately, the provisional 2023 Superbike World Championship calendar encroached on EWC’s plans. Originally scheduled for July 28-30, the Suzuka 8 Hours conflicted with WSBK’s Czech round.
In recent years, WSBK talent has joined the EWC regulars at the illustrious Japanese race. In 2022, Kawasaki tapped six-time WSBK champ Jonathan Rea and KRT rider Alex Lowes to compete in the endurance race. Honda only raised the stakes when it added HRC rider Iker Lecuona to its EWC team. By pushing the Suzuka 8 Hours back to August 4-6, the series accommodates top-tier riders hoping to join the EWC grid in 2023.
“The Suzuka 8 Hours is not only a big test of rider, team and machine, it’s also a celebration of Japan’s vastly successful motorcycle industry,” explained Head of Discovery Sports Events François Ribeiro. “Therefore, it’s vital that the top riders, teams, and manufacturers are able to be present for this famous event at a truly iconic venue.”
As the only non-24-hour race in 2023, the Suzuka 8 Hours remains a critical round in the upcoming season. We can’t wait to see the EWC and WSBK riders lay it all on the line come August.