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Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing 4th in Suzuka 8 Hours Qualifying

Team Suzuki Press Office – July 27.

YOSHIMURA SUZUKI MOTUL RACING – 4th
S-PULSE DREAM RACING IAI – 6th
Team KAGAYAMA U.S.A. – 13th
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team – 17th
MotoMap SUPPLY – 28th

YOSHIMURA SUZUKI MOTUL RACING riders Takuya Tsuda, Sylvain Guintoli and Bradley Ray finished fourth in today’s qualifying for Sunday’s Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship final event at the Suzuka Circuit in Mie, Japan and enter tomorrow’s Top-10 Shootout to decide final positions on the grid for the 41st Coca-Cola event.

Also, through to the Top-10 is the S-PULSE DREAM RACING IAI team of Hideyuki Ogata, Tommy Bridewell and Kazuki Watanabe, who put their GSX-R1000 into sixth position today as a typhoon hangs over the event.

The weather has been a big concern although all sessions up until qualifying have been in dry conditions and all three riders, first rider in blue, second in yellow, third in red put in two 20 minute sessions fighting for a higher position on the grid. Modern Suzuka 8 Hours qualifying regulations require not only one rider to be fast but all riders to be equally fast and the final qualifying time determined by the average time of all three riders.

The blue riders started their first session at 12:20. The ground temperature started at 49 degrees and rose to 53 degrees, while the air temperature stayed moderately low compared to the intense heatwave that has struck Japan recently. However, the first session of the qualifying turned out to be a rough one with multiple red flags.

The top of the Suzuki squad was YOSHIMURA SUZUKI MOTUL RACING, showing a constant pace with all riders clocking in at under 2 minutes 7 seconds resulting in a high average. S-PULSE DREAM RACING·IAI achieved ninth, while Team KAGAYAMA U.S.A. (Yukio Kagayama, Naomichi Uramoto and Joe Roberts) 14th, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe, Etienne Masson and Gregg Black) 15th and MotoMap SUPPLY (Yoshihiro Konno, Nobuatsu Aoki and Josh Waters) 28th (2nd in the SST class). HAMAMATSU TEAM TITAN were 57th.

Followed by the Pit-walk and the 4 Hour Endurance race, the second qualifying session for the Suzuka 8 Hours started at 16:15 with a slightly cooler ground temperature of 41 degrees. Although the air temperature was still over 30 degrees, the teams fought hard hoping for better grip conditions and improved lap times.

At the end of the session, YOSHIMURA SUZUKI MOTUL RACING wasn’t able to improve its lap times but still scored fourth position from the average lap-time of 2 minutes 7 seconds .588.

S-PULSE DREAM RACING·IAI suffered a spill by Tommy Bridewell but both he and Kazuki Watanabe clocked-in at under 2 minutes 7 seconds and finished in sixth at an average time of 2 minutes 8 seconds .153

Due to the approaching typhoon (#12), all events scheduled tomorrow in the GP Square have been cancelled.

Full Qualifying Results: CLICK HERE