Weather threw today’s Suzuka 8 hours qualifying schedule off course as mid-day showers affected track conditions and caused the Top 10 Trial session to be replaced by an ordinary qualifying session.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Takuya Tsuda was fastest straight away, but was beat by Katsuyuki Nakasuga’s 2’06.817 putting his Yamaha YART team on pole.
The battle for third was fought by two Hondas and a BMW and the winner of that battle was the 20 year old Dutchman, Michael Van Der Mark on the Musashi RT Harc-Pro Honda. They are followed by the FCC TSR Honda team in fourth and the BMW Mottorad France team with American Jason Pridmore in fifth.
Team Kagayama, which includes racing legend Kevin Schwantz, Noriyuki Haga and Yukio Kagayama lost a place from yesterday and qualified in sixth.
They are followed by the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team in seventh, Honda Team Asia in eighth and Toho Racing with Moriwaki in ninth.
Rounding out the top 10 is the Yamaha France GMT 94 team which was thrown off a bit in today’s qualifying after team member Kenny Foray’s crash in free practice.
Tomorrow’s 36th running of the Suzuka 8 hours begins at 11:30 am local time.