Yoshimura Suzuki 2nd in Suzuka 8 Hours qualifying

Yoshimura Suzuki put the team’s GSX-R1000 into a provisional second-place grid-position in Friday Qualifying ahead of the 38th "Coca-Cola Zero" Suzuka 8 Hours World Endurance Championship second round at Suzuka in Japan on Sunday.

Team riders Takuya Tsuda, Alex Lowes and Josh Waters lapped at 2’06.958 going into Saturday’s final sessions and Top-10 Time attack event to determine positions on the grid for Sunday’s race.

A total of three Suzuki teams qualified for the Time Trial; Yoshimura Suzuki, Team KAGAYAMA (Noriyuki Haga, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Yukio Kagayama) and MotoMap SUPPLY (Yoshihiro Konna, Nobuatsu Aoki and Hideyuki Ogata).

World Endurance Championship leaders and 14-time World Endurance Champions, Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (Vincent Philippe, Anthony Delhalle and Etienne Masson) missed the top-10, but are looking to prove the reliability of the team’s GSX-R1000 and experience of its riders in the race.


Vincent Philippe:

Today was difficult for us because when we came here for the test days earlier this month, it was wet. We need more laps under dry conditions, but I think it will be better for the race. We need to find a better setting tomorrow so we can push harder in the race.”

Anthony Delhalle:

“We did not find the best setting today. I tried to push myself, got a clear lap, but came back to the pits as the front was not stable and the rear was slipping. We tried to find a solution immediately and changed settings, but we are still adjusting it to find the best setting. Suzuka was very hot today, but it’s ok as this is my sixth Suzuka 8 Hours and I am not worried about the high humidity.”

Etienne Masson:

“It’s my first time here, but I want to run faster, but all the local riders who know Suzuka are much faster and it is difficult to make a step forward. It is hot today, and the humidity is high also, but I am not worried as it is similar in my country, France.”


Takuya Tsuda:

“It’s flowed well since the Suzuka test. I felt the qualifying today was hot and severe, but the lap-time was good. In the tomorrow's qualifier, I’d like to beat my personal best from last year and run well in the Top 10 Trial.”

Alex Lowes:

“It is my first Suzuka 8 Hours race and I hope I’ve had a good result so far. The support of the Yoshimura team is perfect and because we had good times in today's qualifier, I did not want to overdo it; it’s important to go for the victory in the race. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Josh Waters:

“I had some minor issues today, but these should be sorted for tomorrow, but as my lap-times weren’t the best of our team, I think Alex and Takuya will do the Top-10 Trial tomorrow.”


Yukio Kagayama:

“I thought about today's qualifier to reduce the burden on Noriyuki and Ryuichi, who ran yesterday's session as much as possible and I wanted them to be familiar with our bike. We have to attack our session in the morning, but our level is good and I am relieved with the good result today.”

Noriyuki Haga:

“I do my best in all given conditions and I concentrate on it. We are looking forward to the Suzuka 8 Hours and I will give my best, as always.”

Ryuichi Kiyonari:

“I pushed forward with the set-up of the bike and improved the average time but I want to work more and improve in the next session.”


Yoshihiro Konno:

“The track surface temperature was higher today but we improved in the afternoon qualifier of the afternoon of today. We aim for more improvements in set-up for the race.”

Nobuatsu Aoki:

“We have worked on tyre development, I’ve tried it in previous tests, hopefully I’ve been able help and we had a good result today.”

Hideyuki Ogata:

“I did three races in Autopolis in September, Suzuka 2&4 and the JSB1000 class in April this year to prepare for the Suzuka 8 Hours. I would like to say thanks to the people giving me support. Today's qualifier with Konno and Aoki was good and I am feeling happy with the result.”

Suzuka Qualifying Result: 1 Team Green (Kawasaki) 2’06.656, 2 Yoshimura SUZUKI Shell ADVANCE (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’06.958, 3 Yamaha Factory Racing Team (Yamaha) 2’06,877, 4 FCC TSR Honda (Honda) 2’07.798, 5 MuSASHI RT HARC-PRO (Honda) 2’06.963, 6 Honda DREAM RT SAKURAI (Honda) 2’08.693, 7 Team KAGAYAMA (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’07.594. 10 MotoMap SUPPLY (Suzuki GSX-R1000) 2’09.215. 18 SERT (GSX-R1000) 2’10.222.