Monster Yamaha Austria is on provisional pole position for the 2013 Suzuka 8hrs, beating off the Japanese ‘special’ teams to take the front spot at the home of Honda.
The team, consisting of Valencia MotoGP podium finisher Kats Nakasuga and the Australian pair of Broc Parkes and Josh Waters, finished the session with a fastest lap of 2’07.629, set by Nakasuga.
Second are the Yoshimura Suzuki squad of BSB race winner Josh Brookes, paired with local riders Takuya Tsuda and Nobuatsu Aoki, only 0.059 back on the Yamaha squad.
Third are the FCC TSR Honda team of Jonathan Rea and Ryuichi Kiyonari. Rea, who was fastest in the opening sessions yesterday, is almost 1.5 seconds faster than his teammate.
Rea’s Pata Honda WSB teammates of Leon Haslam and Michael van der Mark are fourth, teaming up with Takumi Takasashi on the MuSASHi Honda. Rookie van der Mark has been one of the stand-out performances of the week so far, only 0.2 down on Nakasuga’s pole lap and third fastest individually.
Fifth is the ‘dream team’ Kagayama squad of Yuki Kagayama, Nori Haga and Kevin Schwantz. Both Kagayama and Schwantz managed laps in the 2’08s, while Schwantz is some 2 seconds slower.
The Honda TT Legends team will start from 29th after making steady improvements in their time all throughout practice and qualifying, and are positive that despite having two newcomers on the squad that they will be able to challenge for precious championship points on Sunday.
The teams now have their first evening practice session (starting at 1830 JST) ahead of tomorrow’s superpole session, where the fastest two riders from each of the top ten teams go head to head for one flying lap each to decide the starting order.