Photo Courtesy of Suzuki Racing
Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance Team’s Takuya Tsuda’s lap record put the team on pole position for tomorrow’s Suzuka 8 Hour. Tsuda’s 2:06.703 broke the Top 10 session lap record (2:06.817) set by Katsuyuki Nakasuga in 2012.
“I am very happy with getting the pole position and getting the best time,” Tsuda said. “This is my first challenge in the Top-10 Trial and the result is better than I imagined.”
Nakasuga was 0.391 of second shy of Tsuda, putting his Monster Energy Yamaha Team in second ahead of the FCC TSR Honda squad, who topped the Superpole session for a long time with a 2:07.398 set by Jonathan Rea.
Team Green took fourth place on the grid just in front of the Honda Musashi Harc-Pro Team who led yesterday’s qualifying, but dropped back to fifth position for tomorrow.
In sixth position was Team Kagayama & Verity followed by the Honda Suzuka Racing Team and the Honda Endurance Racing Team. The Honda Endurance Racing Team was the only permanent World Endurance Championship squad to take part in Superpole.
Rounding out the grid are Toho Racing Team with Moriwaki (Honda) and Kevin Schwantz’ team – the Legend of Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance.
Schwantz set his best time of the weekend and is looking for results tomorrow.
“I am very happy with my lap time today. It’s my best lap of the weekend so far,” Schwantz said. “In the morning session, the team did some modifications and tuning and I got a great lap time, although I made some mistakes. I am here to do real competition and ride hard; it’s not just for enjoyment. I really appreciate the hard work and effort everyone in the team has put-in.”
The 37th edition of the Suzuka 8 hours will start tomorrow, Sunday at 11:30 a.m. local time.
2014 Suzuka 8 Hour
Top-10 Time Trial Results:
1. Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance – T. Tsuda, R. De Puniet (Suzuki) 2’06.703
2. Monster Energy Yamaha – K. Nakasuga, J. Brookes (Yamaha) 2’07.094
3. FCC TSR Honda – K. Akiyoshi, J. Rea (Honda) 2’07.398
4. Team Green – A. Yanagawa, K. Watanabe (Kawasaki) 2’07.752
5. Musashi Harc-Pro – T. Takahashi, M. Van der Mark (Honda) 2’07.827
6. Team Kagayama and Verity – D. Aegerter, Y. Kagayama (Suzuki) 2’08.483
7. 8 Honda Suzuka Racing Team – T. Yasuda, D. Hiura (Honda) 2’08.976,
8. Honda Endurance Racing – J. Da Costa, S. Gimbert (Honda) 2’09.224,
9. Toho Racing With Moriwaki – H. Kunikawa, T. Yamaguchi (Honda) 2’09.383,
10. Legend of Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance – K. Schwantz, N. Aoki (Suzuki) 2’09.775.