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Aug 2, 2002

Edwards And Kato Second-Fastest In Suzuka 8-Hour Times

From a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:<BR><BR>RYO AND KAGAYAMA THIRD QUICKEST IN QUALIFYING AT SUZUKA<BR><BR>2002 FIM World Endurance Championship - Qualifying Session, Round 4, Suzuka, Japan, Friday, August 2, 2002.<BR><BR>In the first morning qualifying session, Team Suzuki rider Akira Ryo raced to the top of the A group with a time of 2:07.593. Team Suzuki's Yukio Kagayama was next out in the second morning session and managed to gain a time of 2:07.309, the second quickest of the session, just before it started to rain. <BR><BR>In the third rider's session, Team Suzuki rider Atsushi Watanabe finished with the quickest lap.<BR><BR>Team Suzuki ended the morning session ranked 3rd overall courtesy of Kagayama's time.<BR><BR>The first afternoon session saw Ryo put in a few laps before the rains came. Kagayama went out in the second session on a dry track but was unable to beat his time set in the morning qualifying. <BR><BR>Overall, Team SUZUKI finished third fastest in the overall standings with Kagayama's second time taken as the qualifying time. Barros/Takeda (Honda) qualified first and Kato/Edwards (Honda) qualified in second.<BR><BR>Akira Ryo - 2:07.593<BR>"We had planned to use the morning session to find a good set-up for the bike and then use the afternoon session to put some quick laps in. But when I was ready for the time attack in the afternoon session, it started to rain and we were unable to get any good lap-times in. The bike has been really good so far and the temperature has not been too bad yet. It was just a rehearsal today. I hope to keep us on track for the final race by not risking too much."<BR><BR>Yukio Kagayama - 2:07.309<BR>"I had my chance to do my best lap-times robbed by a shower in the morning and by slow riders in the afternoon. I am disappointed with the time of 2:07 as I had expected to bag a 2:06 lap, and I sure that my pace today was good enough to make it. But, I'm happy with the bike - it's been improved by each ride and we now have a really competitive machine. So, I think we have done everything we need to do. I hope it will not be too hot at the Special Stage and that we can get a good position for the final race."<BR><BR>Qualifying session:<BR><BR>1. Barros/Takeda (Honda)<BR><BR>2. Kato/Edwards (Honda)<BR><BR>3. Ryo/Kagayama (TEAM SUZUKI)