Suzuka 8 Hours: Yosh Suzuki Tops Friday

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2012 Suzuka 8 Hours

Out of sixty teams lining up for the 35th anniversary of the Suzuka 8 Hours, the Yoshimura Suzuki team placed their GSX-R 1000 on the provisional pole for Sunday’s race.

The team, consisting of the Australian Josh Waters, World Superbike Aprilia’s Leon Camier, and Nobuatsu Aoki, was able to pull off a sub 2.8-minute lap Friday with Waters at the controls.

Waters knocked more than a second of his earlier session best at round three of five in the World Endurance Championship with a time of 2:07.704. The Yoshimura Suzuki team, which finished second at last year’s race, were stalked closely by the FCC TSR Honda team of Honda World Superbike’s Jonathan Rea, Kosuka Akiyoshi and Tadayuki Okada.

The FCC TSR Team, which won last year’s Suzuka 8 Hours, posted a 2:08.169. Taking the provisional third spot on the grid was the Monster Yamaha YART team of Japanese riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Noriyuki Haga and Britain’s Tommy Hill.

Reigning World Champions SERT is fourth on the World Endurance Championship-leading GSX-R1000, thanks to a 2’08.429 lap set by Yukio Kagayama and they are only a few-hundredths-of-a-second behind second-placed FCC TSR Honda and third-placed Monster Yamaha YART.

The top-10 teams have one further free practice session tomorrow morning before the exciting Top-10 Shootout Finale to determine the starting positions for Sunday’s race.

2012 Suzuka 8-Hour Friday Qualifying Results:
1. Yoshimura Suzuki (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’07.704
2. FCC TSR Honda (Honda) 2’08.169
3. Monster Yamaha YART (Yamaha) 2’08.352
4. SERT (GSX-R1000) 2’08.429
5. MuSASHI RT-Harc Pro (Honda) 2’08.680
6. EVA RT Test Type (Kawasaki) 2’08.806
7. Teluru EMOBILE (Honda) 2’08.901
8. Honda Dream RT (Honda) 2’09.278
9. TOHO Racing (Honda) 2’09.318
10. Honda Team Asia (Honda) 2’09.433.

Photo courtesy of Goichi Honda