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Suzuka 8 Hours: Yamaha pips Kawasaki to provisional pole

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Suzuka 8 Hours: Yamaha pips Kawasaki to provisional pole
By:
Jul 26, 2019, 10:02 AM

Yamaha Factory Racing claimed provisional pole for the 2019 Suzuka 8 Hours, beating the works Kawasaki team by just 0.014s in Friday qualifying.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes combined to set an average time of 2m06.619s astride the #21 YZF-R1, which proved enough to upset last year’s pole-sitting team Kawasaki.

Yamaha also secured the quickest individual time of qualifying, courtesy of Nakasuga’s stellar effort of 2m05.922s in the morning session.

Leon Haslam, Jonathan Rea and Toprak Razgatlioglu lowered their average time in the afternoon, but just fell short of securing a second consecutive provisional pole for the factory Kawasaki squad.

The #33 Honda crew of Takumi Takahashi, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Stefan Bradl, which dominated testing in the run-up to the event, ended up third, nearly half a second down on the factory Yamaha with an average time of 2m07.106s.

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Moto2 rider Dominique Aegerter, British Superbike racer Xavi Fores and Ryo Mizuno put the #634 HARC-Pro Honda team in fourth, ahead of the #12 Yoshimura Suzuki crew of Kazuki Watanabe, Yukio Kagayama and Sylvain Guintoli.

The second row of the grid was completed by full-season EWC contender YART and its experienced trio of Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Niccolo Canepa on the #7 Yamaha.

The #1 F.C.C. TSR Honda team was seventh and the last to qualify within a second of the chart-topping Yamaha.

Qualifying for the Suzuka 8 Hours continues on Saturday, with the top 10 teams battling it out in Superpole-style Top 10 Trials session.

Qualifying results (Top 10 only):

Pos.

No.

Riders

Team/Bike

Time/Gap

1

21

Katsuyuki Nakasuga

Michael van der Mark

Alex Lowes 

Yamaha Factory Racing

2m06.619

2

10

Leon Haslam

Jonathan Rea

Toprak Razgatlioglu

Kawasaki Racing

0.014s

3

33

Takumi Takahashi

Ryuichi Kiyonari

Stefan Bradl

Red Bull Honda

0.487s

4

634

Dominique Aegerter

Xavi Fores

Ryo Mizuno

HARC-Pro Honda

0.564s

5

12

Kazuki Watanabe

Yukio Kagayama

Sylvain Guintoli

Yoshimura Suzuki

0.568s

6

7

Broc Parkes

Marvin Fritz

Niccolo Canepa

YART Yamaha

0.690s

7

1

Mike de Meglio

Freddy Foray

Josh Hook

FCC TSR Honda

0.859s

8

090

Taiga Hada

Tetsuta Nagashima

Kousuke Akiyoshi

Teluru SAG RT Honda

1.297s

9

95

Bradley Ray

Tommy Bridewell

S-Pulse Suzuki

1.692s

10

19

Yuki Takahashi

Tomoyoshi Koyama

Troy Herfoss

Moriwaki Honda

2.139s

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Rain forces Suzuka 8 Hours superpole cancellation

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About this article

Series FIM Endurance
Event Suzuka 8 Hours
Author Rachit Thukral