News 24 Jul 2015

Yamaha tops opening Suzuka 8 Hours practices

Leading Australians well-placed following Thursday sessions.

Source: Yamaha Racing.

Source: Yamaha Racing.

The Yamaha Factory Racing Team was fastest on Thursday as opening practice commenced for the 38th running of the Suzuka 8 Hours round of the Endurance World Championship.

Riders Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith hit the ground running in the first one and half hour session with a very stable basis set-up and despite difficult conditions, they soon rose to a provisional first place before dropping back to third.

The second session saw more of the same from the new, yet solid team. They needed only a few laps around Suzuka Circuit to get used to the changed track conditions before scorching to the top of the standings with a strong 2m07.282s.

Yamaha’s official entry was nearly a full second ahead of Toho Racing with Moriwaki’s Honda, headed by Tatsuya Yamaguchi and former MotoGP riders Toni Elias and Ratthapark Wilairot.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s team of Josh Waters, Alex Lowes and Takuya Tsuda was third overall, while Josh Hook’s TSR Honda team alongside Dominique Aegerter and Kyle Smith were third fastest.

The Musashi RT Harc-Pro Honda team of Casey Stoner, Michael van der Mark, Takumi Takahashi ended day one in fifth position, logging a best lap of 2m08.462s in the hands of dual MotoGP champion Stoner.

Jason O’Halloran and Troy Herfoss’ Sakurai Honda ended day one in 14th, ahead of the Monster Energy Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) featuring Aussie Broc Parkes in 18th.