Former Grand Prix World Champion Kevin Schwantz has been making the headlines a lot recently, and not necessarily for good reasons. But finally there’s some good news: Schwantz is  coming out of retirement to race in the 2013 Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race.

Schwantz is joining Yukio Kagayama‘s team for the July 28 race, riding a Japanese Superbike-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000. Schwantz will be Team Kagayama‘s third rider, behind Kagayama and former World Superbike star Noriyuki Haga.

The last month and a half had been a trying period for Schwantz when it should have been a positive experience with the first ever MotoGP race to be held in his home state of Texas. In a perfect world, Schwantz would have been the event’s promoter, playing the welcome host to the Grand Prix circus. Instead, Schwantz has been surrounded by controversy.

First, Schwantz was barred from Circuit of the Americas during a private MotoGP test because of an ongoing legal dispute with the Austin track. Then came the cries of protest from Schwantz’s legion of supporters. Most recently, Schwantz kicked a beehive named Alberto Puig by making comments critical of Puig’s disciple Dani Pedrosa.

But now, Schwantz can focus on some actual racing, getting ready the July 28 endurance race at Japan’s Suzuka circuit.

[Source: Team Kagayama]

  • jason

    Kevin Schwantz is a true jerk.

    He wouldnt be a champion if Wayne Rainey didnt have a career ending injury.

  • JeffD

    @jason – That’s what Alberto Puig said in response to Schwantz’s slams against him. Dean Adams at wrote a whole editorial defending Schwantz because they’re good buddies, but all the defending in the world doesn’t make that statement any less true. Rainey was at the height of his powers and a three-time 500cc World Champion at the time of his career ending injury, and was running away with the 1993 championship at that point as well. Schwantz likes to speak his mind and call a spade a spade, he should be able to take it too.

  • John Woods

    While I wouldn’t call him a jerk, I do agree that he was lucky to get that one, and only, title. Lawson had retired, Rainey went down, and Doohan was riddled with injuries that year.

  • Gerard

    If anyone read what Kevin Schwantz said it was that Dani is very talented but needed to get out of the shadows of Alberto to win a championship. No slam against Dani. @JeffD if you recall back to 1993 Kevin was leading the championship till Donnington where he was taken out by Doohan. Rainey rode injured to second and in the next round took the points lead. The rest we all know.