Tetsuta Nagashima set an early marker as practice for the FIM Endurance World Championship third round – the 43rd Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours – got underway on Friday morning, with a storming brace of laps in the 2m05s to highlight the pure pace potential of the #33 Team HRC entry this weekend.
The Bridgestone-shod works Honda rider first dipped into the 2m05s with a 2m05.965s on the CBR1000RR-RSP, then lowered that the next lap to 2m05.823s which was at that point over 1.7secs faster than the next quickest bike at the humid Suzuka circuit.
Conditions might be cooler than the recent days, but the pace has certainly jumped since this week’s test days. Next quickest, YART – Yamaha Official Team EWC continued to impress with their pace with the YZF-R1 – despite being one of the slowest bikes on the straight they more than make up for it in the twisty bits, with Karel Hanika putting in a 2m06.408s at just over halfway through the two-hour session, also on Bridgestone rubber.
Riders were greeted by a hazy morning with a fair amount of humidity in the air and the darker hue of some of the tarmac illustrated a certain amount of moisture retention in the substrate, but certainly not any wet patches for concern. Practice ran largely without incident, save for two late red flags for Superstock runners, with both causual riders declared immedately OK on the timing screens.
Of the FIM EWC contenders, YART were fastest from the #1 Yoshimura SERT Motul entry with Kazuki Watanbe putting in a late 2m07.137s on the Bridgestone-shod GSX-R1000R to go fifth overall. The #5 FCC TSR Honda France CBR1000RR-R entry was next up, sixth overall, whilst the #37 BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team was next, and ninth in the overall standings with a 2m08.050 from the Dunlop-equipped M1000RR.
Fifteenth overall was the #11 Webike SRC Kawasaki France ZX-10RR with a 2m09373s from its Dunlops, whilst the #88 Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA CBR1000RR-R posted a 2m11.803s on its Bridgestones.
Original Source [ FIM EWC ]