FCC TSR Honda (Kosuke Akiyochi, Shinichi Itoh and Yusuke Teshima) took the best from the free practice session of Suzuka 8 Hours, fourth round of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship. On a wet Japanese track, after a thundershower in the middle of the day, 2006 Suzuka 8 Hours winner FCC TSR leads Yoshimura Suzuki with Jomo (Daisaku Sakai, Kasuki Tokudome and Nobuatsu Aoki) and Misashi RT Harc-Pro Honda (Tatsuya Yamaguchi, Yoshiteru Konishi and Takashi Yasuda). These three top Japanese teams are the only ones to ride below the 2’23 bar. Behind them, the Suzuki Ohnishi Heat Magic signed their best lap in 2’25.891.
Yamaha Austria Racing Team is the only permanent team to enter within the top ten during the free practice. The Yamaha of Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani took the seventh place in 2’26.465. The Yamaha Phase One Endurance of Pedro Vallcaneras, Damian Cudlin and Graeme Gowland is in twenty second position with 2’32.926.
These Suzuka 8 Hours are not starting very well for BK Maco Moto Racing Team. Victor Carrasco crashed during the very first free practice session. The Slovak Yamaha was not too damaged but as a consequence the Spanish rider has a broken wrist and will have to leave the race in the hands of Dani Ribalta and Jason Pridmore. BK Maco Moto is in thirteenth position with a 2’35,102 lap.
Serious action will start from tomorrow Friday at 10 am local time (GMT + 9) with the qualifying session but the weather forecast for Friday expects thunderstorms.
The Suzuka race track has changed since the 2008 edition. The main building, the pit lane and the start / finish tribune have been completely rebuilt, and more tribunes have been added all around the track. The track has been partly resurfaced, but his layout remains the same.
The latest news concerning the Bol d’Or, the fifth and next round of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship, informs us that for financial reasons, Honda France has announced that they will not participate. The official Honda 111, who finished second at Le Mans with Steve Plater, Sébastien Charpentier and Matthieu Lagrive will not enter the Bol d’Or in September.
2009 Suzuka 8 Hours
1. FCC TSR Honda 1 (JPN/Honda/ K. Akiyoshi, S. Ito, Y. Teshima) 2’23.063
2. Yoshimura Suzuki 12 (JPN/Suzuki/ D. Sakai, K. Tokudome, N. Aoki ) 2’23.401
3. Musashi RT Harc-Pro 634 (JPN/Honda/ T. Yamaguchi, Y. Konishi, T. Yasuda )2’23.881
4. Ohnishi Heat Magic 20 (JPN/Suzuki/T. Ohnishi, Y. Hatano) 2’25.891
5. Plot Faro Panthera 48 (JPN/Suzuki/O. Deguchi, K. Teramoto) 2’26.042
6. Honda Dream Sakurai 2 (JPN/Honda/T. Takahashi, C. Kameya) 2’26.348
7. Yamaha Austria 7 (AUT/Yamaha/I. Jerman, S. Martin, G. Giabbani) 2’26.465
8. Honda Suzuka RT 25 (JPN/Honda/I. Namihira, T. Morii, N. Yunoki) 2’26.544
9. Teluru Honeybee Racing 99 (JPN/Honda/H. Noda, T. Sekiguchi) 2’27.235
10. Trick Star Racing 5 (JPN/Kawasaki/ H. Izutsu, S. Takeishi, R.Tsuruta) 2’28.301
22. Phase One Endurance 3 (GBR/Yamaha/P. Vallcaneras, D. Cudlin, G. Gowland) 2’32.926
30. BK Maco Moto (SVK/Yamaha/J. Pridmore, D. Ribalta) 2’35.102