After being fourth in qualifying, Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance Team took pole position with an historic lap in the Top 10 session by Takuya Tsuda of 2’06.703. This supersedes the 2012 performance by Katsuyuki Nakasuga (2’06.817) who this year takes second place on the grid with a time of 2’07.094 for the Monster Energy Yamaha Team with YSP, ahead of the FCC TSR Honda squad, who for a long time topped the hotly contested Superpole session thanks to a lap of 2’07.398 by Jonathan Rea.
The English rider seemed quite surprised by his performance this afternoon at Suzuka. Riding the FCC TSR Honda, Jonathan Rea has gone from a time of 2'09.062 during yesterday’s qualifying to 2'07.398 in the Top 10 shoot out. Kawasaki’s Team Green confirmed its good performance this weekend by taking fourth place on the grid just in front of the Honda Musashi Harc-Pro Team who gave away their first place in qualifying and will now start in fifth position tomorrow.
In sixth position Team Kagayama & Verity are in front of the Honda Suzuka Racing Team and the Honda Endurance Racing Team, the latter of which were the only permanent squad who took part in Superpole, which is reserved for the top ten from qualifying. The Honda Racing Endurance Team therefore start in 8th place on the grid. Sébastien Gimbert was unable to better his performance in qualifying, but Julien Da Costa has greatly improved his best time of 2'09.891.
The Toho Racing Team with Moriwaki (Honda) and the Legend of Yoshimura Suzuki Shell Advance occupy the final two places in the Top 10 and on the grid for tomorrow’s race.
The 37th edition of the Suzuka 8 hours will start tomorrow, Sunday at 11.30hrs (GMT +9 h) with the finish due at 19.30hrs, a little over half an hour after sunset. 70 teams will take part in the race, the maximum number of machines allowed for this event at Suzuka.