The Moriwaki Motul Honda team of three-time MCE British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, former Moto2 race winner Yuki Takahashi and Honda BSB rider Dan Linfoot have delivered a surprise performance on the last day of action at the official Suzuka 8 Hour test to beat the factory bikes for top honours.
Despite being not one of the fully HRC-supported Honda quads at this year’s race, Kiyonari nonetheless brings a huge amount of experience to the squad that he regularly competes in Japanese Superbikes for. A front-runner for them in that series this season, he’s also the most successful rider in 8 Hour history.
The squad’s exceptional lap time on the last of three days of action leaves them going into next week’s race with an ace up their sleeves, after finishing 0.2 ahead of the full-factory MuSASHi Honda squad of MotoGP rider Jack Miller, Moto2 rider Takaaki Nakagami and former double winner Takumi Takasashi.
The factory Yamaha squad of World Superbike duo Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark and MotoGP test rider Kats Nakasuga were third, a mere 0.01 behind the team that van der Mark was a double winner with in the past, with the second factory Honda squad of FCC TSR, headlined by their WSBK rival Stefan Bradl, fourth, as the manufacturer throws all their efforts at winning their home race with the new Fireblade.
Kawasaki Team Green and star rider Leon Haslam was fifth, just ahead of yet more BSB regulars in sixth as Josh Brookes and Sylvain Guintoli made it four manufacturers in the top six with the Yoshimura Suzuki team.
Practice for the race itself kicks off on the 27th July, with the main race coming on Sunday 31st, live in the UK on Eurosport.
- Moriwaki Motul Racing Honda 2:07.346
- MuSASHi RT HARC-PRO Honda 2:07.593
- Yamaha Factory Racing Team 2:07.603
- FCC TSR Honda 2:07.700
- Kawasaki Team Green 2:07.805
- Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing 2:07.954
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