Yamaha have taken provisional pole for the 2019 Suzuka Eight-Hours after two qualifying sessions held on the Japanese track today.
Individually, the team’s Kats Nakasuga put in a 2’05.922 to head the boards but he was chased hard by Kawasaki’s Jonathan Rea in second and Red Bull Honda’s Takahasa Takumi in third place.
Suzuka’s qualifying is split into three groups, each with a colour, but the final time is measured as an average of all three so even though Rea didn’t go out in the second session - maybe saving a soft tyre for the top-ten shootout - his best from Q1 was taken.
Tomorrow, Yamaha will have a large target on their back in the shootout but Red Bull Honda will not be far behind. So far, no-one has touched Rea’s 2’05.198s lap in second session last year, which is the qualifying benchmark.
Musashi Pro Honda ended in fourth place with a fastest lap of 2’06.501 from Swiss Moto2 rider Dominique Aegerter with Yoshimura Suzuki in fifth - Kazuki Watanabe their quickest man with a 2’06.965.
World endurance regular team YART were sixth with a fastest lap of 2’06.672 from Nico Canepa while FCC TSR Honda placed seventh, Josh Hook their quickest rider on a 2’07.255.
Au Telrag Sag were next with the S-Pulse Suzuki squad in ninth. Tommy Bridewell was their fastest man with a 2’08.098 and Moriwaki Honda completed the top ten with Yuki Takahashi’s 2’08.307.
Dan Linfoot and the Motomap Swat team, which also features ex-BSB man Josh Waters and Nobu Aoki, ended in 16th place on their GSX-R1000 on in front of the official SERT squad.
Honda Endurance were 21st while Gino Rea and the Wojick Team were 24th. Danny Webb’s Team Frontier finished in 25th place with Stefan Hill on the Zaif Yamaha in 28th.
Danny Buchan and the Bolliger Kawasaki squad are in 31st place with the Essex gangsta innit setting their fastest time on his Suzuka debut. Josh Elliott and the R2CL team finished in 35th place.