Rain forces Suzuka 8 Hours superpole cancellation

Lewis Duncan

running of the Suzuka 8 Hours.

However, heavy rain led to an initial alteration in the schedule, with the session reduced to 40 minutes and set to be run as a normal qualifying session instead.

The weather failed to relent, with a half an hour delay announced at 5:30pm local time when the session was due to get underway.

The session was soon scrapped altogether, leaving the top 10 on the grid for Sunday's race as it was at the end of Friday's running.

#21 Yamaha Factory Racing: Alex Lowes

#21 Yamaha Factory Racing: Alex Lowes<span class="copyright">Jun Goto</span>
#21 Yamaha Factory Racing: Alex LowesJun Goto

Jun Goto

This means the #21 factory Yamaha of Katsuyuki Nakasuga and World Superbike teammates Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark will start from pole as they look to secure the marque's fifth-successive Suzuka 8 Hour victory.

Their average laptime of 2m06.619s put them just 0.014 seconds ahead of the #10 works Kawasaki of WSBK trio Leon Haslam, Toprak Razgatlioglu and Jonathan Rea.

Completing the top three is the #33 Red Bull Honda crew of Takumi Takahashi, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Stefan Bradl, who were around half a second adrift of the top two teams with a best average lap of 2m07.106s.

They were just a few hundredths ahead of the #634 HARC-PRO Honda squad of British Superbike frontrunner Xavi Fores, Moto2 rider Dominique Aegerter and Ryo Mizuno, with the Yoshimura team of Sylvain Guintoli, Yukio Kagayama and Kazuki Watanabe the leading Suzuki runners in fifth.

Rounding out the top 10 was YART Yamaha (Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz, Niccolo Canepa), TSR Honda (Josh Hook, Freddy Foray, Mike Di Meglio), SAG RT Honda (Kousuke Akiyoshi, Tetsuta Nagashima, Taiga Hada), Dream Racing Suzuki (Bradley Ray, Tommy Bridewell) and the Moriwaki Honda crew of Yuki Takahashi, Tomoyoshi Koyama and Troy Herfoss.

Qualifying results (Top 10 only):

1

21

Katsuyuki Nakasuga

Michael van der Mark

Alex Lowes

Yamaha Factory Racing

2m06.619

2

10

Leon Haslam

Jonathan Rea

Toprak Razgatlioglu

Kawasaki Racing

0.014s

3

33

Takumi Takahashi

Ryuichi Kiyonari

Stefan Bradl

Red Bull Honda

0.487s

4

634

Dominique Aegerter

Xavi Fores

Ryo Mizuno

HARC-Pro Honda

0.564s

5

12

Kazuki Watanabe

Yukio Kagayama

Sylvain Guintoli

Yoshimura Suzuki

0.568s

6

7

Broc Parkes

Marvin Fritz

Niccolo Canepa

Yart Yamaha

0.690s

7

1

Mike de Meglio

Freddy Foray

Josh Hook

FCC TSR Honda

0.859s

8

090

Taiga Hada

Tetsuta Nagashima

Kousuke Akiyoshi

Teluru SAG RT Honda

1.297s

9

95

Bradley Ray

Tommy Bridewell

S-Pulse Suzuki

1.692s

10

19

Yuki Takahashi

Tomoyoshi Koyama

Troy Herfoss

Moriwaki Honda

2.139s