The second day of practice ahead of the 2022 Suzuka 8 Hours on Wednesday began under similar conditions to the previous day; harsh sunshine and intense heat. Late in the day slight cloud cover masked the harsh sunshine, but high humidity kept heat levels up.
YART recorded the fastest time of the day, set in the opening session on Wednesday at 2m06.684 by Karel Hanika. The Austrian outfit is bidding for its first EWC win of the season, with Hanika also aiming to extend his pole position sequence to three events.
Tuesday pacesetters Team HRC had the opportunity to familiarise Iker Lecuona with both the bike and the Suzukia circuit as he joined team-mates Tetsuta Nagashima and Takumi Takahashi after missing Tuesday’s test due to travel after the Most WorldSBK round last weekend.
HRC Team Manager – Kazuhiko Yamano
“Takahashi was mainly on the bike in the morning session, followed by Nagashima to verify, and in the afternoon we did more verification of Lecuona and the bike. We had Lecuona do ten lap petit-stints on each of the two bikes. All three of our riders concentrated on getting the bike settings right rather than fast lap times. Setting up the bike based on Takahashi’s vast experience, verified with Nagashima, and further verified by Lecuona was only possible because the riders highly respect each other. I feel their positive attitude has rubbed off on the team, who are bonded more than ever before. Everything is going smoothly, maybe too smoothly, so we’ll head into Qualifying with a disciplined approach.”
The Kawasaki triumvirate of Jonathan Rea, Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes took to the track at Suzuka on Wednesday after missing Tuesday practice and were immediately fast, finishing Wednesday third quickest.
Kawasaki won the most recent, and quite controversial, Suzuka 8 Hours with Leon Haslam and Jonathan Rea in 2019 and while Haslam has enjoyed time in Japan testing the World Endurance bike, Rea and Lowes will have to familiarise themselves with the package again and the Bridgestone tyres.
Yoshimura SERT Motul also lopped more than half-a-second off their Tuesday’s best to move up the order, as did SDG Honda and F.C.C. TSR Honda France while the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team went more than two-seconds quicker than they had managed on Tuesday.
Josh Hook – F.C.C. TSR Honda
“The conditions were extremely difficult, with high temperatures and a slippery track, so I did everything, nearly turning the bike back to front, to explore a setup that worked in these conditions. Nothing seemed to work though. Once the track temperature came down this afternoon, the bike felt like a normal bike. Through these two days of testing, we know our pace. Now I think it is important that we ride with consistency for the race. As long as the track temperature doesn’t rise too much during the race, I think we have a solid bike and I’m looking forward to racing. Overall, it’s pretty good.”
Next up is Qualifying on Friday, a Top 10 Trial on Saturday and then the race on Sunday, August 7.
Following Second Qualifying on Friday, the leading 10 teams 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.
Taking the Le Mans-style running start 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 Practice Times
Wednesday Practice Times
YART – 2m06.684
Team HRC – 2m-07.049
Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8H – 2m07.157
Yoshimura SERT Motul – 2m07.624
SDG Honda Racing – 2m07.670
F.C.C. TSR Honda France – 2m07.761
BMW Motorrad World Endurance – 2m08.427
Team Kodama Yamaha – 2m08.618
Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing – 2m08.619
Honda Sofukai Suzuka Racing – 2m08.646
Suzuka 8 Hour Practice Times
Team HRC – Honda 2m06.966
Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8H – Honda – 2m07.451
YART – Yamaha 2m07.884
Honda Sofukai Suzuka Racing – Honda 2m08.194
F.C.C. TSR Honda France – Honda 2m08.260
SDG Honda Racing – Honda 2m08.379
Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing – Honda 2m08.439
S-Pulse Dream Racing ITEC – Suzuki 2m08.692
Yoshimura SERT Motul – Suzuki 2m09.206
Kawasaki Plaza Racing Team – Kawasaki 2m09473
EVA RT 01 Webike Trickstar – Kawasaki 2m09.880
NCXX Racing with Riders Club – Yamaha 2m09.935
Team Kodama – Yamaha 2m10.066
BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team – BMW 2m10.507
TOHO Racing – Honda 2m10.539
Honda Asia Dream Racing with Showa – Honda 2m10.552
TEAM ATJ with Japan Post – Honda 2m10.569
KRP Sanyoukogyo & RS-Itoh – Kawasaki 2m10.571
Webike SRC Kawasaki France – Kawasaki 2m10.573
Akeno Speed – Yamaha 2m10.985
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
Tuesday 2 August
Wednesday 3 August
Thursday 4 August
Administrative checking, rider briefing, technical inspection
Friday 5 August
08h10-10h10: Free Practice
12h10-12h30: First Qualifying (Blue Rider)
12h45-13h05: First Qualifying (Yellow Rider)
13h20-13h40: First Qualifying (Red Rider)
15h50-16h10: Second Qualifying (Blue Rider)
16h25-16h45: Second Qualifying (Yellow Rider)
17h00-17h20: Second Qualifying (Red Rider)
18h30-19h30: Night Practice
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.
MCNEWS.COM.AU is a specialist on-line resource that provides motorcycle news for motorcyclists. MCNews covers all areas of interest for the motorcycling public including news, reviews and comprehensive racing coverage.