2015-07-24T00:00:00+02:00July 24th, 2015|2015|

Qualifying began this morning on the Suzuka circuit. The sun was out, but there were quite a few falls throughout the session. Yamaha is dominating the fight.

The pace was set from the get-go as qualifying got underway, with the leaders lapping fast, shaving nearly a second off last year’s best times in the same qualifying session.

Two teams were neck and neck at the top of the timesheet. And though the Yamaha Factory Racing Team—Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith—was fastest with 2.06.877, the Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance trio comprising Takuya Tsuda, Alex Lowes and Josh Waters was threateningly close behind, mere tenths of a second, with 2.06.958.

Australian Casey Stoner clocked the quickest time for the Musashi RT Harc-Pro Team, but teammate Takumi Takahashi fell, and the factory Honda took quite a knock. And his wasn’t the only fall. Team SRC Kawasaki too suffered falls by Grégory Leblanc and Matthieu Lagrive, while Flembbo Leader Team considerably damaged its Kawasaki.

Bastien Mackels, the BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com rider, also took a fall. His teammate Markus Reiterberger clocked the team’s fastest time, which means the bike gets into the provisional top ten to take part in the superpole session tomorrow.

Among the permanent squads, the GMT94 Yamaha Racing performed brilliantly, with David Checa setting the team’s best time of 2.09.871.

With early qualifying sessions of this high calibre, the second and final sessions this afternoon are likely to deliver some very tight battles across the board.