Nagashima’s 2min 4.934 lap gives Honda first Suzuka 8 Hours Pole since 2009
Prior to the Top 10 Trial to determine the final grid for the 2022 Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race (Suzuka 8 Hours), the Suzuka 4 Hours Endurance Race and a Suzuka 8 Hours free practice session was held the in the morning.
The free practice session was halted immediately after it began, and once restarted, #33 Team HRC (Tetsuta Nagashima / Takumi Takahashi / Iker Lecuona) rider Lecuona and another rider came in contact at the first turn, sending him off track and back into the pits. Soon after, Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki) slid off at the motorcycle chicane, bringing the session to a halt once again. On the second restart, Nagashima (#33) enters the track, but ♯5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Josh Hook / Gino Rea / Mike Di Meglio) rider Gino Rea crashed at the chicane and was airlifted to hospital. Updates on his condition will be communicated as appropriate.
The ten fastest qualifying teams proceeded to the Top 10 Trial shootout to determine the final grid places, where two riders from each team get one lap each to set their lap times. Going into the Top 10 Trial, ♯33 Team HRC was first, ♯17 Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing (Kosuke Sakumoto / Kazuma Watanabe / Taiga Hada) fourth, ♯5 F.C.C. TSR Honda France fifth, ♯72 Honda Dream RT SAKURAI HONDA (Sodo Hamahara / Daijiro Hiura / Yuki Kunii) seventh, and ♯25 Honda Sofukai Suzuka Racing Team (Yudai Kamei / Yuki Sugiyama / Jun Tadokoro) was ninth. Each team chose their two riders for the Top 10 Trial.
Just before the Top 10 Trial was to commence, the organisers changed the Top 10 Trial to a 40-minute Top 10 timed qualifier beginning at 4pm due to weather concerns. Any team rider could ride within this session, and the fastest laps would determine the final grid. The air temperature was 28℃ and track temperature 36℃. Nagashima (#33) was on the track as soon as the session started.
On his second lap, Nagashima set a 2 min 4.934s lap to take the provisional lead, and pits. Lecuona (#33) takes over the bike and is on the track. As Alex Lowes (Kawasaki) closes in on the lead with a 2 min 5.413s lap, Lecuona sets a 2 min 6 lap and pits. Takahashi (#33) then takes over the bike, and also sets a 2 min 6s lap.
Team HRC’s pole position gave Honda its first Suzuka 8 Hours pole since 2009.
Tetsuta Nagashima 33
I’m simply happy that we got pole position. I was aiming to set a 2 min 4s lap in the Top 10 Trial which is unique to Suzuka 8 Hours, so I’m disappointed it was changed to a normal qualifying session, but I pushed hard as if it was a Top 10 Trial. I’m satisfied that I could set a 2 min 4s lap. Being on pole position is huge, so we’ll show everyone that a strong Honda is back.
Takumi Takahashi 33
I’m very glad because this is the first time I’m starting the Suzuka 8 Hours from pole position. I think the fans are disappointed that they couldn’t see a Top 10 Trial despite this being the first Suzuka 8 Hours in three years, but Nagashima was amazing in the Top 10 qualifying session. He set a stunning lap time, so I could relax and pace myself as if it was the race itself. I believe that as long as all three riders play their part, the results will follow, so we’re aiming to win.
Iker Lecuona 33
I’m glad we’re on pole. Nagashima is always fast and sets great lap times, but 2 min 4s is an amazingly fast lap time. I was finally on a dry track, and set a 2 min 6s lap. I hope the weather is good for the race, and we’re aiming to win.
Top ten qualifying session
|1||Team HRC||JPN||Team HRC||Honda||2:04.934|
|2||Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8H||JPN||Kawasaki Racing Team Suzuka 8H||Kawasaki||2:05.149|
|3||YART - Yamaha Official Team EWC||JPN||YART - Yamaha Official Team EWC||Yamaha||2:05.769|
|4||TSR Honda France F.C.C.||FRA||F.C.C. TSR Honda France||Honda||2:06.204|
|5||SDG Honda Racing||JPN||SDG Honda Racing||Honda||2:06.409|
|6||Honda Dream RT SAKURAI Honda||JPN||Honda Dream RT SAKURAI Honda||Honda||2:06.564|
|7||Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing||JPN||Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing||Honda||2:06.607|
|8||Honda Sofukai Suzuka Racing Team||JPN||Honda Sofukai Suzuka Racing Team||Honda||2:06.668|
|9||BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM||GER||BMW MOTORRAD WORLD ENDURANCE TEAM||BMW||2:06.897|
|10||EVA RT 01 Webike TRICKSTAR||JPN||EVA RT 01 Webike TRICKSTAR||Kawasaki||2:08.033|
SUZUKA 8HOURS ESSENTIAL* RECORDS POLE POSITION RECORD: 2’04.934s Team HRC – Tetsuta Nagashima – Honda CBR1000RR-R SP (2022) RACE RECORD: 2’06.805s Kawasaki Racing Team – Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki ZX10RR (2019) Name: SUZUKA CIRCUIT Location: 7992 Ino-Cho, Suzuka-shi, Mie-ken 510-0295, Japan Track length: 5.821 kilometres Race distance: 8… read more.
7992 Inoucho, Suzuka, Mie, Japan - View in Google Maps