Hannspree Ten Kate Honda man Jonathan Rea flew the flag high for the World Superbike fraternity by clocking an incredible time of 2 minutes 08.553 seconds on his Honda FCC TSR CBR1000RR during the second qualifying session for Sunday’s prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance race.
The FCC TSR team, running with Kosuke Akiyoshi and Yuki Takahashi as Rea’s team-mates, are a regular contender at the Japanese classic and they won the 2006 edition of the race.
Several other familiar WSB names slotted into the next five positions and they were headed by Daisaku Sakai, who raced at Monza this year, together with Suzuki stalwart Yukio Kagayama for the ’09-winning team, Yoshimura Suzuki.
Honda Keihin Kohara were also close behind in third, with Shinichi Itoh and Makoto Tamada doing the riding duties. Two more Hondas complete the top 5, the Honda Team MuSashi Harc Pro machine with Ryuichi Kiyonari on board, followed by Toshiyuki Hamaguchi for Honda Crown Keibihosyou.
Tomorrow afternoon at Suzuka the decisive Superpole sessions will take place to assign the top 20 slots on the grid.