The Honda FCC TSR confirms its domination after the Special Stage with Kosuke Akiyochi and Shinichi Ito. During this Suzuka special type of Superpole, opened to two riders from the ten best teams after the qualifications, Akiyoshi has been very impressive on the track and took over the best time from Ito, who was the fastest performer with his smooth efficient riding style. Riding with Yusuke Teshima, Akiyoshi and Ito are seen as the favourites for victory.
As during the qualifications, the battle for the best time involved Honda FCC TSR, the Honda Musashi Harc-Pro with Takashi Yasuda and Tatsuya Yamaguchi and the Suzuki Yoshimura, which takes the third place on the starting grid with Daisaku Sakai and Kasuki Tokudome. They will be riding tomorrow with former GP rider Nobuatsu Aoki.
The Honda Dream RT Sakurai improved their position by two spots due to Chojun Kameya and the Honda Team Plus One & TSR moved from ninth to fifth place after the Special Stage. We will have to keep an eye on the track tomorrow on this CBR 1000 RR ridden by Satoru Iwata, Yoshiyuki Sugai and Kazuma Watanabe.
In fourteenth place on the starting grid, the Yamaha Austria Racing Team couldn’t enter the Special Stage. Igor Jerman, Steve Martin and Gwen Giabbani were in tenth place on the Austrian Yamaha after the first qualifying session, but Gwen Giabbani, the fastest on the track, was unable to improve his best time for a lack of clear lap when he put a qualifying tyre. As the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship leader, YART has great hopes to enter the top 10 of this 32nd edition of Suzuka 8 Hours.
Phase One Endurance will start on their Yamaha from the thirty-fourth position, with Damian Cudlin, Graeme Gowland and Pedro Vallcaneras. BK Maco Moto Racing will start from thirty-seventh position. Dani Ribalta and Jason Pridmore will have to race the Slovakian Yamaha without Victor Carrasco, who was found with a broken wrist after a crash during the free practice at Suzuka. These two permanent teams count on their experience to enter in the top 15 tomorrow during the race and come back from Suzuka with some useful points for the championship.
The challenging exercise of the Special Stage has been held on a wet track and more thundershowers are expected tomorrow Sunday. The start of Suzuka 8 Hours is scheduled tomorrow at 11:30 am local time (GMT + 8).
2009 Suzuka 8 Hours
Special Stage Results
1. FCC TSR Honda 1 (JPN/Honda/K. Akiyoshi, S. Ito) 2’07.692
2. Musashi RT Harc-Pro 634 (JPN/Honda/T. Yasuda, T. Yamaguchi) 2’08.130
3. Yoshimura Suzuki 12 (JPN/Suzuki/D. Sakai, K. Tokudome) 2’08.566
4. Honda Dream Sakurai 2 (JPN/Honda/T. Takahashi, C. Kameya) 2’10.998
5. Team Plus One & TSR 73 (JPN/Honda/S. Iwata,Y. Sugai) 2’11.169
6. Trick Star Racing 5 (JPN/Kawasaki/H. Izutsu, S. Takeishi) 2’11.319
7. Plot Faro Panthera 48 (JPN/Suzuki/O. Deguchi, K. Teramoto) 2’11.375
8. Teluru Honeybee Racing 99 (JPN/Honda/H. Noda, T. Sekiguchi) 2’11.897
9. Moto Map Supply 32 (JPN/Suzuki/ Y. Konno, D. Suzuki) 2’13.892
10. Team MII RHashimotogumi 77 (JPN/Suzuki/ T.Hamaguchi, K. Kanayama) 2’14.290