The warmer temperatures on Friday afternoon mixed with some bouts of inclement weather prevented much progress for most riders and teams today at Suzuka, and it was the ‘Red’ rider session that again was affected worst by weather.
That meant the likes of Jonathan Rea, Mike Di Meglio, Kazuki Watanabe and top qualifier for the FIM EWC season so far Karel Hanika, never got the opportunity to put a quick lap in today. Hanika has set the pace early in the week though so is comfortable enough with his YART package, but Jonathan Rea is yet to really get to record a longer series of laps on the KRT entry at all this week as he, and other World Superbike riders, missed the opening day of practice on Tuesday.
Tetsuta Nagashima, who broke into the 2m04s in the earlier session, was top again in the afternoon, but this time with a 2m06.675s aboard the Bridgestone shod Team HRC CBR1000RR-RSP.
The leading 10 teams from today go forward into Saturday’s Top 10 Trial. Two riders per team take part with each rider getting one lap to set their time. The lap times of each rider are then combined to complete the final starting grid for Sunday. The 5-4-3-2-1 qualifying points are awarded after the Top 10 trial rather than after the completion of Second Qualifying, which is the case at other EWC events.
Before that though, riders will get to take to the track again tonight for a one-hour night practice session.
A Le Mans-style running start kicks things off at 11h30 local time (04h30 CET) on Sunday 7 August, riders race through the heat of the day, through sunset and into early evening with the chequered flag scheduled to be waved to the winner of this prestigious race at 19h30.
Kayo Sports will show the racing live on Sunday within Australia from 1215 (AEST) and it will also be on Fox Sports 507.
Suzuka 8 Hour Friday Qualifying Combined Times
HRC – Tetsuta Nagshima – 2m04.942
YART – Niccola Canepa – 2m05.863
YART – Marvin Fritz – 2m06.138
KRT – Alex Lowes – 2m06.204
Astemo Honda Dream SI – Kosuke Sakumoto – 2m06.393
KRT – Leon Haslam – 2m06.409
HRC – Takumi Takahashi – 2m06.494
SDG Honda – Teppei Nagoe – 2m06.733
F.C.C. TSR Honda – Josh Hook – 2m06.740
Astemo Honda Dream SI – Kazuma Watanabe – 2m06.801
EWC Teams Standings
Yoshimura SERT Motul
F.C.C. TSR Honda France
YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC
TATI TEAM BERINGER RACING
BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM
Team Bolliger Switzerland #8
Team LRP Poland
VILTAIS RACING IGOL
Wójcik Racing Team EWC 77
MACO RACING Team
ERC Endurance Ducati
WEBIKE SRC KAWASAKI FRANCE
TEAM MOTO AIN
TEAM GT ENDURANCE
Motobox Kremer Racing #65
Kingtyre Fullgas Racing Team
2022 Suzuka 8 Hour Schedule
Saturday 6 August:
14h15-15h00: Free Practice
15h30-17h00: Top 10 Trial
17h00: Post-Top 10 Trial press conference
The Suzuka 8 Hours is back on the FIM EWC calendar in 2022 having not taken place since 2019 due to the global health crisis. Operated by Honda-owned Mobilityland, Suzuka features a unique figure-of-eight layout and presents a considerable challenge for riders thanks to its wide variety of corners. Opened initially as a test track for the Japanese motor giant in 1962, the venue hosted the first edition of the famous Suzuka 8 Hours motorbike race in 1978, nine years before staging its first Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. The Suzuka 8 Hours has been a popular feature on the EWC calendar and a key fixture on the international calendar since with leading grand prix motorcycle racers taking part – and winning – over the years.
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