News 24 Jul 2010

EWC: Rea quickest in Suzuka 8 Hours qualifying on Friday

Jonathan Rea put the hammer down by clocking an incredible 2:08.553 on the Honda FCC TSR during the second qualifying session of the Suzuka 8 Hours yesterday.

Winner of the 2006 edition and regular contender of the Japanese classic, FCC TSR takes then a serious option for the pole position, as the second rider Kosuke Akiyoshi also did a great 2:08.363.

There is a special rule at Suzuka since, unlike all the other rounds of the Qtel FIM Endurance World Championship, the qualifications rely on the best individual lap rather than the average time of the team’s three riders.

Tomorrow afternoon at Suzuka will take place the Superpole sessions, which will reallocate the twentieth first slots on the starting grid.

FCC TSR leads another contender for victory, Yoshimura Team with Eneos, winner of the 2009 Suzuka 8 Hours.

Yoshimura is second on the provisional starting grid with Daisaku Sakai’s best lap in 2:08.397. The Honda Keihin Kohara did not hide their ambitions for victory and took the third place with Shinichi Itoh (2:08.539). Itoh is pairing with Makoto Tamada (2:08.996).

Two more Hondas are completing the top-5, the Honda Team MuSashi Harc Pro with Riyuichi Kiyonari (2:08.817) and the Honda Crown Keibihosyou with Toshiyuki Hamaguchi (2:09.813).

The Honda Dream Sakurai was certainly expecting to do better than a seventh place. Wayne Maxwell, their fastest rider, did a 2:11.217 and put the Honda Sakurai just behind the Suzuki Plot Faro Panthera with Osamu Degucchi (2:10.550).

Amongst the permanent teams, Yamaha Austria Racing Team did the best as Gwen Giabbani improved significantly during the second session with a best lap in 2:11.458.

Although YART suffered from a tyre choice inappropriate for the track conditions (60 °C), they managed to take the tenth place on the starting grid.

YART leads the Yamaha France GMT 94 Ipone, 12th on the starting grid, with David Checa’s best lap in 2:11.835 during the first qualifying session. Those two European teams will enter the Superpole sessions.

Bolliger Switzerland also improved their lap times during the second qualifying session with Patric Muff’s best in 2:13.617. The Swiss Kawasaki will start in 22nd position.

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