The Austrian squad currently lead the FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) after securing a second-place finish at the Le Mans 24 Hours and following that up with a sensational victory at the second round of the season, the 24H SPA EWC Motos. It was YART's first victory since the 2020 Estoril 12 Hours and the team's first 24-hour win since Le Mans in 2009.
All of the top teams were in attendance at the test. For YART, who battled in the top three positions against factory teams in last year's race and are currently leading the EWC title fight by just one point, it meant that they arrived in Suzuka as the centre of attention. Cloudy, rainy weather was in the forecast on Day 1 of the test, so the team set out to take advantage of the dry track conditions in the morning. Their first goal was to simply get re-acclimated to Suzuka Circuit's unique layout.
Also, since the tire specification at Suzuka is different from that used in Europe, the team spent time testing and choosing tires for the race weekend. Though they had last year's setup as a base to start from, Suzuka's track surface offers much higher grip compared to European circuits, so the team worked on optimising the electronics and riding position to suit it. After putting in many, many laps by the end of the first session, the two YART machines had set a 2'07.788 and a 2'08.084 to be 4th and 5th overall in combined standings of the A and B groups. They were about 1.5 seconds off the overall leader, Team HRC.
In the second session, rain began to fall midway through and only got stronger, leading to fully wet conditions. Once the track surface was sufficiently wet to collect valuable data, the team went out to check how the electronics and grip felt in the wet. The third session of the day was also wet, so the team only did a few runs. The day's final session was set to be the only night session of the test, but with heavy rain still falling, the team elected not to take unnecessary risks and did not participate.
On Day 2, the sun was shining without a single cloud in the sky, and the forecasted high temperatures would allow the team to test in conditions similar to the always-scorching Suzuka 8 Hours. In the first 75-minute session of the day, Session 5 of the test, each rider took to the track on machines with slightly different settings, including different tires, where they repeated short stints of 5 to 10 laps to check the overall feeling of each. Their lap times got gradually quicker, going from 2:08s at the beginning of the session to a final fastest time of 2'06.813, which was the team's fastest of the test.
For the final session, the team had planned to do some long runs, but they were unable to as several red flags came out early in the session and interrupted proceedings. Their quickest time was a 2'08.044 for 8th overall, about 1.8 seconds off the fastest team's 2.07.892. On average pace, however, YART's lap times were consistently in the 2:08s, and in endurance racing, having a consistent race pace is always key. In the end, YART had a very positive test where they worked well in preparation for the big event in a few weeks, with their quickest lap time from the fifth session ensuring they finished fourth overall on the combined timesheets.