Yamaha lead as Suzuka 8 Hour Qualifying gets underway
Four different manufacturers fill the top four places when Friday Qualifying kicked off at Suzuka

Yamaha Factory Racing Team topped the timesheets in first qualifying at Suzuka this morning in what was a session for the ‘Blue’ rider, for each team.  Which was then quickly followed by another session for each team’s ‘Yellow’ rider, followed by another session for the ‘Red’ rider in each team. 

Katsuyuki Nakasuga was the man of the morning setting a scintillating 2m06.779 on the Factory Yamaha YZF-R1 ahead of FCC TSR Honda’s Dominique Aegerter. 

Alex Lowes then reinforced the strength of the Factory Yamaha entry by then topping the next session when it was his turn on the bike, the Brit going faster than his vastly experienced Japanese teammate to lower the benchmark to 2m06.405. The third rider in the team, Michael Van Der Mark could not match the pace of his teammate and managed a 2m08.164 in the third session for the ‘Red’ riders in each team.

Along with Dominique Aegerter the FCC TSR SP2 Fireblade squad also has Randy De Puniet and Taree’s Josh Hook in the FCC TSR team.  But it was the Swiss rider that took to the track for the team in the opening session today to clock a best of 2m07.371. De Puniet could not improve on that time but set a competitive 2m07.689. Josh Hook then took part in the third session for the team and set a 2m08.698.

Josh Hook on the FCC TSR Fireblade SP2
Josh Hook on the FCC TSR Fireblade SP2

Third quickest in the opening qualifier was Watanabe on the Team Green Kawasaki while Sylvain Guintoli made it four different manufacturers in the top four by putting in 2m07.523 on the Yoshimura Suzuki he will share with Takuya Tsuda and Sydney’s Josh Brookes. 

Leon Haslam improved on Watanabe’s time when it came his turn to pilot the Team Green Kawasaki with a 2m07.395, but was still not quick enough to knock FCC TSR out of second placed on combined times.

Josh Brookes hit the track in the second session and put in a 2m08.134, half a second off teammate Guintoli’s morning time as he refamilarises himself with the Suzuki after spending the 2017 season onboard the Anvil Yamaha in BSB.

Takahashi on the highly fancied Musashi Harc-Pro SP2 was fifth quickest this morning ahead of Newcastle’s Broc Parkes aboard the YART Yamaha YZF-R1. 

Takahashi on the highly fancied Musashi Harc-Pro SP2 leads Dominique Aegerter
Takahashi on the highly fancied Musashi Harc-Pro SP2 leads Dominique Aegerter

Jack Miller then took to the track on the Musashi Harc-Pro SP2 in the second session and put in a 2m08.595, a second off what Japanese teammate Takahashi managed in the first session.  Nakagami was the next out for the team and did a best of 2m07.504, the quicket time of the team’s three riders. 

Josh Waters took to the track this morning for MotoMap Suzuki squad and stopped the clocks with a best of 2m08.972 which was good enough for tenth quickest. Waters was the team’s quickest rider for the day. 

Jason O’Halloran was out in the second session and recorded a 2m09.599 on the Dream RT Sakurai Honda. Jamie Stauffer was out in the last session for the team and recorded a 2m12.879. The team’s Japanese rider Mizuno was the quickest of the squad with a 2m09.238.

Damian Cudlin was the second rider out for Sup Dream Honda and put in a 2m10.222, the 15th quickest time in the second session. Marginally quicker than teammates Ito and Black. 

Anthony West impressed on the Akeno Yamaha with a 2m10.507 good enough for second quickest amongst the Superstock entrants in the opening session for what is the world’s most prestigious endurance race,

Mark Aitchison was 24th in the second session aboard the Team JP Kawasaki.

Alex Cudlin took to the track in the third session and put in a 2m11.106 for Pulse Dream Suzuki.

Riders will suit up again tonight for another session each before they go under lights for the night practice session. 

Suzuka 8 Hour – First Qualifying Results – Team Rider Blue
  1. Yamaha Factory – Nakasgua 2m06.779
  2. FCC TSR Honda – Aegerter 2m07.371
  3. Kawasaki Team Green – Watanabe 2m07.490
  4. Yoshimura Suzuki – Guintoli 2m07.508
  5. Musashi Harc Pro Honda – T Takahashi 2m07.524
  6. YART Yamaha – Parkes 2m07.718
  7. Moriwaki Honda – Y Takahashi 2m07.837
  8. Honda Suzuka Racing Team – Hiura 2m08.151
  9. Team Kagayama Suzuki – Kagayama 2m08.901
  10. MotoMap Suzuki – Waters 2m08.972
  11. BMW Motorrad 39 – De Rosa 2m09.016
  12. S Pulse Dream Suzuki – Ogata 2m09.018
  13. Honda Dream Sakurai – Mizuno 2m09.238
  14. Honda Team Asia – Pratama 2m09.271
  15. Honda Dream Racing – Koyama 2m09.704
  16. JP Kawasaki – Watanabe 2m09.768
  17. Ito Racing Yamaha – Maeda 2m09.924 (Superstock)
  18. GMT94 Yamaha – Checa 2m10.118
  19. Sup Dream Honda – Ito 2m10.233
Suzuka 8 Hour – First Qualifying Results – Team Rider Yellow
  1. Yamaha Factory – Lowes 2m06.405
  2. Kawasaki Team Green – Haslam 2m07.398
  3. FCC TSR Honda – De Puniet 2m0-7.689
  4. S Pulse Dream Suzuki – Schrotter 2m08.035
  5. YART Yamaha – Nozane 2m08.056
  6. Yoshimura Suzuki – Brookes 2m08.134
  7. Musashi RT Harc Pro Honda – Miller 2m08.595
  8. Moriwaki Honda – Kiyonari 2m08.661
  9. GMT94 Yamaha – Canepa 2m09.454
  10. Honda Suzuka Racing – Kamei 2m09.482
  11. Honda Dream Sakurai – O’Halloran 2m09.599
  12. Kagayama Suzuki – Syahrin 2m09.605
  13. BMW Motorrad39 – Iddon 2m09.941
  14. Honda Team Asia – Zaidi 2m10.074
  15. Sup Dream Honda – D Cudlin 2m10.222
  16. Honda Dream Racing – Iwato 2m10.286
  17. Mistress ATJ Honda – Sekiguchi 2m10.407
  18. MotoMap Suzuki – Aoki 2m10.462
  19. Ito Yamaha – Osaki 2m10.708
  20. Bolliger Kawasaki – Stamm 2m10.743
Suzuka 8 Hour – First Qualifying Results – Team Rider Red
  1. Yoshimura Suzuki – Tsuda 2m06.929
  2. Musashi RT Harc Pro Honda – Nakagami 2m07.504
  3. Yamaha Factory – Van Der Mark 2m08.164
  4. Honda Dream Racing – Yamaguchi 2m08.610
  5. FCC TSR Honda – Hook 2m08.698
  6. Kawasaki Team Green – Kamanuzeman 2m08.715
  7. YART Yamaha – Fritz 2m08.754
  8. Team Kagayama Suzuki – Uramoto 2m09.349
  9. Moriwaki Honda – Linfoot 2m09.891
  10. GMT94 Yamaha – Di Meglio 2m10.278

Suzuka 8 Hours – Australian Victories
  • Tony Hatton and Michael Cole (CB900) 1979
  • Wayne Gardner with Masaki Tokuno (RVF750) 1985
  • Wayne Gardner with Dominique Sarron (RVF750) 1986
  • Kevin Magee with Martin Wimmer (YZF750) 1987
  • Kevin Magee with Wayne Rainey (YZF750) 1988
  • Mick Doohan and Wayne Gardner (RVF750) 1991
  • Wayne Gardner and Daryl Beattie (RVF750) 1992