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Jul 26, 2013

Monster Energy Yamaha - YART On Provisional Pole Position For Suzuka 8 Hours

FIM Endurance World Championship/ 36th Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours: Monster Energy Yamaha - YART (7).
FIM Endurance World Championship
Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8 Hours
Suzuka Circuit, Japan
July 26, 2013

Combined Qualifying Results (before Superpole):

1. Monster Energy Yamaha YART (K. Nakasuga 2:07.629/B. Parkes 2:08.109/J. Waters 2:09.408), Yam YZF-R1, 2:07.629

2. Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team (T. Tsuda 2:07.688/N. Aoki 2:09.159/J. Brookes 2:08.161), 2:07.688

3. F.C.C. TSR Honda (J. Rea 2:07.857/R.Kiyonari 2:09.472), Hon CBR1000RR, 2:07.857

4. Musashi RT Harc-Pro (T. Takahashi 2:08.366/L. Haslam 2:08.540/M. VD Mark 2:07.879), Hon CBR1000RR, 2:07.879

5. Team Kagayama (Y. Kagayama 2:08.751/K. Schwantz 2:10.907/N. Haga 2:08.438), Suz GSX-R1000, 2:08.438

6. Yamaha France GMT94 Michelin Yamahalube (D. Checa 2:09.039/K. Foray 2:10.091/M. Lagrive 2:09.991), Yam YZF-R1, 2:09.039

7. BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent (E. Nigon 2:09.066/J. Pridmore 2:10.811/D. Cudlin no time recorded), BMW S1000RR, 2:09.066

8. Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (V. Philippe 2:09.114/A. Delhalle 2:09.350/J. Da Costa 2:09.155), Suz GSX-R1000, 2:09.114

9. Toho Racing with Moriwaki (T. Yamaguchi 2:09.132/S. Ito 2:10.158/K. Watanabe 2:10.517), Hon CBR1000RR, 2:09.132

10. Honda Team Asia (M. Tamada 2:09.321/A. Shah B. Kamaruzaman 2:11.584/Y. Takahashi 2:10.838), Hon CBR1000RR, 2:09.321

16. Honda Dream RT Sakurai Honda (J. Stauffer 2:11.599/J. Hook 2:10.814), Hon CBR1000RR, 2:10.814

24. Team38 PS-K (S. Karita 2:11.806/D. Keyes 2:15.470/S. Yamashita 2:15.674), Kaw ZX-10R, 2:11.806

29. Honda TT Legends (S. Andrews 2:12.604/M. Rutter 2:12.808/J. McGuinness 2:12.954), Hon CBR1000RR, 2:12.604

More, from a press release issued by FIM Endurance Press Office:

Monster Energy Yamaha YART back on top at Suzuka ahead of Yoshimura Suzuki and FCC TSR Honda

With the day’s best lap time of 2’07.629, Katsuyuki Nakasuga has shot the Monster Energy Yamaha YART to the top of the qualifiers for the Suzuka 8 Hours. At last year’s edition, during the Top 10 Trial Superpole session that reshuffles the ten top places on the grid, this same rider pulled off a breath-taking lap in 2’06.845. After the day’s two qualifiers, Monster Energy Yamaha YART is therefore a whisker ahead of the Yoshimura Suzuki Racing Team (Takuya Tsuda in 2’07.688), the FCC TSR Honda (2’07.857 with Jonathan Rea) and the Honda of Musashi RT Harc-Pro, with a best lap by Michael Van Der Mark in 2’07.879. Michelin is therefore currently ahead of the Japanese on Bridgestone on their own turf.

Team Kagayama held on to the fifth place with an improved time of 2’08.438 by Noriyuki Haga, while Kevin Schwantz gained two seconds, clocking up 2’10.907. The Yamaha France GMT 94 Michelin Yamalube held on to its sixth place of this morning signed David Checa (2’09.039) ahead of BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent, despite a better time by Erwan Nigon (2’09.066), and the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe in 2’09.114).

The Honda of Toho Racing with Moriwaki and the Honda Team Asia make up the Top 10 who will be fighting it out on the track in the Top 10 Trial Superpole tomorrow from 15.30 hours local time (GMT+9). Two riders from each crew will be riding one flying lap. The best times will determine the first ten places on the starting grid for the race.

Among the permanent teams to have travelled to Japan, the Kawasaki of Bolliger Team Switzerland is best placed in 19th ahead of the Suzuki of R2CL, 21st. Honda TT Legends is currently in 29th position, Team Flembbo-Leader Team in 37th and the Motobox Kremer by Shell Advance in 56th out of a total of 63 crews in the race.

More, from a press release issued by Honda TT Legends:

Honda TT Legends complete Suzuka 8 Hours qualifying

Following a busy day of track action in Japan, with one free practice and two qualifying sessions, the Honda TT Legends team will start the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship race from 29th on the grid in an ultra-competitive field of expert teams.

Conditions remained dry, hot and humid throughout the day as Simon Andrews, Michael Rutter and John McGuinness took to the Honda-owned 5.8km circuit for two 30-minute qualifying sessions apiece. The team's main aim was consistency and synchronicity between the riders and it achieved this with all three posting 2'12 laps. Suzuka novice Andrews was the quickest with 2’12.604, while fellow newcomer Rutter achieved 2’12.808 and McGuinness’s fastest lap was 2’12.954.

The team will take part in a night practice session this evening, followed by a one-hour free practice tomorrow afternoon. The Suzuka 8 Hours race will begin at 11.30am Japanese Standard Time on Sunday 28 July.

Neil Tuxworth
It’s been a good day overall and we’ve had no major problems. Our biggest issue is that two of the riders have never ridden here before so for them it is all about learning the circuit. It’s always hard to qualify here with all the local teams and the humid conditions but it’s gone reasonably well. Now it’s just a case of preparing for the race and hopefully our usual consistent performance will put us somewhere in the top ten.

John McGuinness
It’s been a long, tough day. We’re working really hard with the bike and have made quite a few changes during the day. We’re all within a tenth or two of each other in the 12s, which is a pretty respectable time considering the field of competition that we're in here. I always want more but we’re trying hard and when it comes to the race we’ll just keep plugging away as we do and hopefully we’ll be somewhere in the points come the flag.

Michael Rutter
It’s been a good day. I’ve had a lot to learn having never been here before and there are so many expert teams out on track We’ve learned a lot though and we’ve got the bike turning a bit better. It’s so hot and it’s going to be a very hard race but we’ll go out there and enjoy ourselves.

Simon Andrews
I was quick in most sessions but at the stage that I thought I could go a bit quicker it didn’t work so well. I had two near misses that could’ve been costly but I made it back and we made some changes to the chassis that put us back in the right direction. I’m looking forward to the race, it will definitely be interesting.

More, from a press release issued by Team Suzuki News Service:


After setting the fastest time in earlier sessions, the Yoshimura Factory Racing Suzuki team recorded the second best Qualifying time at the 36th Coca-Cola Zero Suzuka 8-Hour World Endurance Championship second round today; just over 500ths-of-a-second from provisional pole.

Yoshimura Factory riders Nobuatsu Aoki, Takuya Tsuda and Josh Brookes had earlier topped the timesheets aboard their GSX-R1000 after All Japan Superbike rider Tsuda set a blistering lap of 2'07.688 minutes; a time only bettered by Monster Energy YART's Katsuyuki Nakasuga later in the day.

Along with Yoshimura, Team Kagayama - comprising Team Manager/ rider Yukio Kagayama, Noriyuki Haga and former World 500cc GP Champion Kevin Schwantz - made the cut through to tomorrow's deciding Top-10 Time Trial (that sees the fastest teams compete for Pole Position) by finishing fifth overall with a fastest time of 2'08.438. Possibly one of the most talked-about and anticipated of the 63-entered teams, it was Haga who set the fastest lap of 2'08.438, with Kagayama on 2'08.751 and Schwantz recovering from an early off-track tumble to knock two seconds off his lap time to post 2'10.907.

Schwantz, who won the 1993 World Championship aboard his infamous #34 Lucky Strike Suzuki is competing at the Suzuka 8-Hour for the first time in 21 years; a venue that has always been close in his heart after winning his first 500cc GP race there in 1988.

Said Schwantz: I came to Japan last month and did two days of testing with Yukio and Noriyuki and they have made a good bike that is well set-up. I feel comfortable on it, although it's the first time I've done a Suzuka 8-Hour timed qualifying for 21 years, but I finally improved my time and made my best lap in the second session.

"Surprisingly, this time is much the same as my last 500cc qualifying time at the Suzuka GP in 1995 and I am looking forward to tomorrow's Top-10 Trial and also Sunday's race!"

Twelve-times World Endurance Champions Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) finished qualifying in eighth position; and will progress to the Top-10 Timed Trial with a time of 2'09.114, set by Vincent Philippe. Team-mate Julien Da Costa posted a lap of 2'09.155 and Anthony Delhalle a time of 2'09.350.

Suzuka 8-Hour Practice & Qualifying Photos from David Reygondeau ( Goichi Honda (GH) & Hiro Nakamura (HN): SUZUKA 8-HOUR QUALITYING PHOTOS

Suzuka 8-Hour Best Qualifying Times: 1. Monster Energy YART (Yamaha) Nakasuga/ Parkes/ Waters - 2'07.629, 2. Yoshimura Suzuki (Suzuki GSX-R1000) Takuya Tsuda/ Nobuatsu Aoki/ Josh Brookes - 2'07.688, 3. FCC TSR Honda (Honda) Rea/ Kiyonari - 2'07.857, 4. MuSASHI RT HARC-PRO (Honda) Takahashi/ Haslam/ van der Mark - 2'07.879, 5. Team Kagayama (Suzuki GSX-R1000) Yukio Kagayama/ Kevin Schwantz/ Noriyuki Haga - 2'08.438, 6. Yamaha France GMT94 (Yamaha) Checa/ Foray/ Lagrive, 7. BMW Motorrad France (BMW) Nigon/ Pridmore - 2'09.066, 8. SERT (Suzuki GSX-R1000) Vincent Philippe/ Anthony Delhalle/ Julien Da Costa - 2'09.114, 9. TOHO Racing with MORIWAKI (Honda) Yamaguchi/ Ito/ Watanabe - 2'09.132, 10. Honda Team Asia (Honda) Tamada/ Shah/ Kamaruzaman/ Takahashi - 2'09.321.