3. Return of Suzuka prestige?

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Earlier I mentioned Suzuka not placing as high on the importance meter as it used to. But is the tide turning? As the number 4 spot illustrates, there are still top-quality riders racing at Suzuka, and the event seems to be experiencing a bit of a resurgence in popularity. As production bikes go, sportbikes are edging closer and closer to racebikes with lights and license plates, and considering Honda’s Fireblade is getting long in the tooth, Team Red might one day recruit its MotoGP hot shots Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa to join Casey Stoner in piloting a new version (minus stuck throttle!) to Suzuka victory. If that happens, perhaps Yamaha might tap Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo to mount a challenge? This could have a snowball effect that triggers a host of other manufacturers, including the Europeans, to bring their top guns to the Suzuka party. It would be one hell of a race if this dream becomes a reality, and if it does, we, the fans, will be the greatest beneficiaries.