Yamaha Factory Racing Fly to Third Consecutive Suzuka 8Hour Pole
Action resumed again on track today for the 40th Anniversary of the 2017 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8Hours. The afternoon saw the top ten teams from provisional qualifying contest the Top 10 Trial to decide the first ten grid positions. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team proved unbeatable, taking pole with a scorching 206.038s lap.
Action resumed again on track today for the 40th Anniversary of the 2017 Coca-Cola Suzuka 8Hours. The afternoon saw the top ten teams from provisional qualifying contest the Top 10 Trial to decide the first ten grid positions. The Yamaha Factory Racing Team proved unbeatable, taking pole with a scorching 2’06.038s lap. The YART Yamaha Official EWC Team were also on form, the fastest of the non-Factory teams with a 2’07.634s lap for sixth on the grid.
After two previous years of the pressure of being the last rider out on track, Nakasuga was able to finally enjoy a less pressured Top 10 Trial today as the first YFRT rider to qualify. The local hero didnt disappoint and had the Suzuka crowd on their feet as he turned each split time red on the timing boards on his way to the fastest lap of the day.
Next up as the second Yamaha Factory Racing Team rider was Alex Lowes. The young Brit has been on top form all weekend so far and was determined to match his teammate’s pace. Lowes was on fire through the first splits, turning them red and looked likely to break under the lap record until a small mistake in the final chicane cost a few tenths of a second. The lap proved to be faster than everyone except Nakasuga, Lowes laying down a 2’06.225s time at the line.
Third teammate Michael van der Mark was denied the chance for a proper ride in the day’s earlier practice as a red flag brought the session to an early end. Despite this the Dutchman has already found a race pace to match Lowes and Nakasuga, putting the threesome in a strong position to fight for Yamaha’s third consecutive Suzuka 8Hours victory tomorrow.
Alex Lowes – Yamaha Factory Racing Team
“Today was good, I enjoyed the Top 10 Trial a lot and the bike felt really good. I made some mistakes myself so I cant be completely happy with my lap, especially the last sector. I think I felt quite good up until that point but it doesn’t really matter as we have eight hours tomorrow! I feel comfortable on the bike and Im looking forward to a tough race. Im going to give it everything Ive got to win the Suzuka 8Hours again. I want to do a really good job for Yamaha in the race, this is my goal.”