THREE PERMANENT TEAMS IN THE TOP SIX
While Yamaha Factory Racing is currently topping the leaderboard, the permanent teams are experiencing mixed fortunes. GMT94 Yamaha, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and Honda RacIng are in the top six.
MotoGP riders Pol Espargaro and Bradley Smith, the teammates of Japanese rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga, are leading the race in the saddle of their factory Yamaha. But the F.F.C. TSR Honda bike featuring Australian Josh Hook, Swiss rider Dominique Aegerter and British rider Kyle Smith is right on their tail, just ahead of Team Kagayama.
The Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance bike was in second place, but crashed before the halfway mark and has dropped back in the standings.
Some of the permanent teams, on the other hand, are doing a great job. GMT94 Yamaha and Suzuki Endurance Racing Team are maintaining a healthy fourth and fifth place respectively, shadowed by Honda Racing, while Team Bolliger Switzerland is 11th and Team April Moto Motors Events 16th.
The unlucky Monster Energy Yamaha YART team had to quit because of an ignition problem.
BMW Motorrad France Team Penz13.com was also forced to abandon the race. After a fuel pump issue involving a fuel tank change, they rejoined the race in 23rd place, but crashed when the bike was 27th. After dropping back beyond 40th place, they realized they would no longer be in the running for championship points and opted to throw in the towel.
SRC Kawasaki had to abandon the race while it was in 5th place, after Grégory Leblanc took a fall. “I’ve no idea what happened,” the rider said. “I was riding at a good pace without pushing too hard. Then, five laps before pitting, I lost the front of the bike.”