Yamaha Sepang Racing on pole at 8 Hours of Sepang
Yamaha Sepang Racing confirmed pole in a suspenseful top 10 Trial, placing ahead of Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa and F.C.C. TSR Honda France on the starting grid.
The Top 10 Trial started with Somkiat Chantra setting a blistering pace. The Thai rider posted a fantastic 2:05.440 lap for Honda Asia Dream Racing, sending the Japanese team rocketing from 9th to 1st place. Yamaha Sepang Racing’s Franco Morbidelli was the sole rider to finally knock the Japanese Honda off its perch and claim pole position with a 2:04.647.
Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa beat F.C.C. TSR Honda France to second place on the grid after Josh Hook posted a 2:05.484. Jérémy Guarnoni’s lap – a 2:05.826 – enabled Webike SRC Kawasaki France to jump two places and start from 4th on Saturday ahead of BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team, YART Yamaha, Team ERC Endurance, BMW Sepang Racing and VRD Igol Pierret Experiences.
Wójcik Racing Team were the big loser of the Top 10 Trial. Gino Rea had a minor crash during his timed lap. The Yamaha-mounted Polish team, who were 8th after qualifying, will start from 10th place on the grid, just ahead of Suzuki Endurance Racing Team and the first Superstock teams.
The pressure is on in Superstock
Several battles broke out right from qualifying in Superstock class, notably a struggle in the lead between the Japanese team Tone RT Syncedge 4413 BMW, the fastest Superstock of the Suzuka 8 Hours last July, and the French squad Moto Ain, last season’s FIM Endurance World Cup winner. The two teams nudging each other on the timesheets will wage a bitter fight for the win. They will start from 12th and 13th respectively on the grid.
Behind the duo in the lead, the next-best Superstocks GERT56 by GS Yuasa and Motors Events are 19th and 20th post-qualifying, closely followed by Team 33 Coyote Louit Moto, No Limits Motor Team, Team Aviobike and BMRT 3D Maxxess Nevers.
After Friday’s all-day FIA WTCR/Oscaro races, the FIM EWC players will be back on the track on Saturday 14 December at 9am local time (GMT+8) for the warm up.
The 1st edition of the 8 Hours of Sepang will be flagged off at 1pm. The sun sets at 7pm in Malaysia at this time of year, so the final stages of the race will be run at night under the floodlights of the Sepang International Circuit.