Yamaha, Honda and Kawasaki neck and neck
Despite changes in the fastest times posted, the timesheet positions haven’t budged. Yamaha Factory Racing Team is still on top after the two qualifying sessions, ahead of Musashi RT Harc-Pro’s Honda and Team Green’s Kawasaki.
Katsuyuki Nakasuga’s 2’06.908 lap this morning enabled the Yamaha #21 to hold on to its provisional pole at the Suzuka 8 Hours. Only provisionally, though: the post-qualifying top 10 will have to throw their hats back into the ring tomorrow at the Top 10 Trial, the Superpole for which each team fields two riders.
So, in the Top 10 Trial, we’ll be seeing Musashi RT Harc-Pro, who reduced their fastest lap time to 2’07.026 thanks to Takumi Takahashi, and Team Green’s Kawasaki with Leon Haslam once again the fastest rider, lapping 2’07.563.
YART Yamaha Official EWC Team has picked up a superb 4th place with Broc Parkes posting a 2’08.239 lap, slipping ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance and F.C.C. TSR Honda. Toho Racing (Honda), Team Kagayama and Moto Map Supply (both on Suzuki) and Team JP DogFightRacing Australia (Yamaha) round off the top 10 who will be back to compete for the first 10 spots on the grid starting at 3.20pm local time (GMT+9) tomorrow.
FIM EWC teams not far behind
GMT94 Yamaha finished qualifying within shouting distance of the top 10 in 12th place, with Niccolò Canepa setting a time of 2’09.299. Among the other teams competing for the FIM EWC 2016 title, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team clocked a best time of 2’09.928, while Team SRC Kawasaki posted a lap time of 2’10.601. Team R2CL (2’11.334) is ahead of Honda Racing Team (2’11.432), Team Bolliger Switzerland (2’12.460) and Team April Moto Motors Events (2’13.296), the current championship leader. All the teams will have to finish the race in the top 20 to score points. The winner gets 35 points.
Motobox Kremer Racing (2’14.245) and Team Flembbo Leader Team (2’15.836) will also be holding their own at the Suzuka 8 Hours. The race will be flagged off at 11.30am local time (GMT+9) on Sunday.