The Monster YART squad of Kats Nakasuga, Broc Parkes and Josh Waters continued to top the time sheets in this afternoon’s delayed final qualifying session to take pole for tomorrow’s Suzuka 8 hours race.
The session, originally scheduled to run as a single lap superpole for the fastest two riders of the top ten teams, was rescheduled after a mid-afternoon downpour that dried before the session had a chance to get underway.
WSS rookie Michael van der Mark was the early leader, with a blistering opening run from the newcomer setting the benchmark for the session.
However, Nakasuga’s lap, almost 0.3 faster than the old lap record, was unmatchable, eventually leaving him over a tenth of a second faster than BSB star Josh Brookes in second on the Yoshimura Suzuki.
The #634 MuSASHI bike of van der Mark, Leon Haslam and Takumi Takahashi will start from third, ahead of Jonathan Rea and Ryuichi Kiyonari in fourth.
Rea and Kiyonari, both former winners, chose to concentrate on bike setup in the session, with only a fast run from Rea at the end promoting them up the timesheets.
Fifth was the BMW Thevent team of Erwan Nigon and Jason Pridmore, reduced to two after losing Damian Cudlin to a broken tibia in practice.
Sixth was the Team Kagayama bike of Yuki Kagayama, Nori Haga and Kevin Schwantz, with Schwantz wearing a special Wayne Rainey replica helmet for the session.