First face-off at Suzuka
Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki were the quickest trio of the first day of official Suzuka 8 Hours tests on the Japanese circuit earlier today.
Yamaha Factory Racing Team, the race winner for the past three years at Suzuka, has already shot into the lead. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark’s Yamaha #21 set the fastest lap of the day, a 2:07.379, ahead of Honda HRC’s 2:07.604 lap (Takumi Takahashi, Takaaki Nakagami and Leon Camier).
The two factory teams were the only ones to come in under the 2:08 mark on the first day of the Suzuka 8 Hours official tests.
Kawasaki Team Green’s Kazuma Watanabe, Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea posted the third-quickest time: a 2:08.045.
The ambitious Honda-mounted squad au.Teluru MotoUp RT proved quicker than Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing and another promising Suzuki squad: S-Pulse Dream Racing (Hideyuki Ogata, Tom Bridewell and Kazuki Watanabe).
YART Yamaha was the fastest of the full-season teams with a 2:09.043 lap. F.C.C. TSR Honda France posted a prudent 2’10.336 lap, ahead of GMT94 Yamaha (2:10.439) and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (2:12.229).
The Suzuka 8 Hours official tests continue on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July.
Most of the 64 teams expected to line up on the starting grid of the Suzuka 8 Hours Grand Finale on 29 July were at the initial day of testing at Suzuka.
A few of the European teams were missing: Swiss squad Bolliger Team Switzerland, German squads Team NRT48 and Motobox Kremer Racing, Poland’s Wójcik Racing Team, British team Honda Endurance Racing and Czech squad Mercury Racing Team. They will re-familiarize themselves with the Suzuka track in the course of a private test on Thursday 26 July.