Rain hits Second Qualifying for EWC Suzuka 8 Hours

2022-08-06T04:19:18+02:00August 5th, 2022|2022|

It may not have been the Blues that had the blues but the Reds certainly had cause to see red on an afternoon where the weather reigned as master of qualifying destiny for the third round of the FIM Endurance World Championship.

Just as Q1 seemingly saw the best conditions for the Blue Riders, so Q2 followed a similar path. A certain amount of moisture retention in the track surface allied to the humidity in the air meant the super special times of Q1 were unlikely to be replicated.

Tetsuta Nagashima, who broke into the 2m04s in the earlier session, was top again, but this time with a 2m06.675s aboard the #33 Team HRC CBR1000RR-RSP and its Bridgestone tyres.

Next up was a Dunlop runner, with the #37 BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM M1000RR putting in a 2m07.143s at the hands of Markus Reiterberger, with another full time EWC team taking third spot, with the #7 YART Yamaha Official Team EWC YZF-M1 with Martin Fritz working his magic on the Japanese bike’s Bridgestones.

Once again, no sign of the #1 Yoshimura SERT Motul Suzuki GSX-R1000R with Sylvian Guintoli yet to be seen on track.

The Yellow Rider session beckoned with the note of rain around T12-14 and it proved to be a subdued session with bikes on track for the first half, then generally garage-based activities thereafter as precipitation kept lingering to render fast lap attacks redundant.

Fastest for the session was the #5 FCC TSR Honda France CBR1000RR-R Fireblade with Gino Rea working the Bridgestone tyres and posting a 2m07.326s lap, around 1.5secs slower than the earlier Yellow best. Once again, the SERT was back out in action for the Yellow Rider Gregg Black, going fourth-fastest.

For the Red Riders – unlucky with rain in Q1 – it was again a less than perfect Q2 with gentle precipitation wafting in the breeze on the pitlane at least for the start of the session with the intensity increasing almost exactly on cue to provide one more red nightmare for the unluckiest riders of the threesomes today.

With the rain increasing, the best times would be set early and it was the #104 TOHO Racing Bridgestone-shod Honda CBR1000RR-R with Hiromichi Kunikawa aboard which went top on its first flier, with a 2m11.631s with Kazuki Watanabe eight tenths adrift on the SERT Suzuki.

With dark skies to the left of the track, blue skies to the right, conditions for the ‘Night’ Free Practice Session next is anyone’s guess. The session gets underway at 18:30 local time.

The times, they are a linking here