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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 05:28 PM Thread Starter
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Honda, Bridgestone Lead Suzuka

Tire manufacturer Bridgestone stormed through the Thursday practice session for the Coca-Cola Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race as teams that used Bridgestone tires took the top four spots and six out of the top eight on the combined results report of fastest overall lap times.

Hondas were also in abundance at the top of the results with the top five teams on Hondas, as well as seven out of the top eight.

FCC Technical Sports Racing riders Yusuke Teshima and Gaku Kamada had the best time of the day at 2:09.637 seconds.

Toy Story Racing riders Yoshiteru Konishi and Takashi Yasuda were the only other team to break into the nines with a time of 2:09.997 seconds.

Third fastest were the Masked Rider team of Tatsuya Yamaguchi and Kazuki Tokudome on 2:10.178 seconds. Unfortunately, Tokudome fell during practice and dislocated a shoulder. No word was given if Tokudome will continue or be replaced with the team’s reserve rider.

The second FCC TSR team of Takeshi Tsujimura and 39-year-old Shinichi Ito were fourth fastest with a time of 2:10.354 seconds.

The top four teams all used qualifying tires to set their best times. The Suzuka 8 Hours lap record of 2:08.071 was never under threat however, the riders were two seconds off the pace from the test session held a week earlier. Some riders thought the slippery track conditions were due to the rain that fell on Wednesday, while others blamed the groundskeeper for recently mowing the grass along the edge of the track. In any case, riders and red flags fell throughout the hot and humid day.

Michelin-shod Seven Stars Honda riders Ryuichi Kiyonari and Makoto Tamada were fifth best at 2:10.673 seconds. MotoGP rider Tamada replaces Yuki Takahashi, who fell during a wet test session on July 20 and broke his left arm.

The first non-Honda was the Yoshimura Suzuki. Riders Atsushi Watanabe and Nobuatsu Aoki had a best time of 2:10.746 seconds. Watanabe’s late day effort to move up on the time sheets was thwarted when his qualifying tire wore out prematurely.

The best Yamaha was the YSP & Presto Racing YZF-R1 of Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Shinichi Nakatomi at 2:11.359 seconds, for ninth overall. Their effort was the best of the day for Dunlop. Nakatomi fell in practice and spent much of the day prostrate. Whether Nakatomi rides or is replaced by American Jason DiSalvo is an open question.

The lead team for Honda Racing Corporation, Tadayuki Okada and Osamu Deguchi (Michelin), were well down in 10th overall with a time of 2:11.786 seconds. Okada, now the Honda MotoGP test rider, called the track "crap." Okada was originally paired with Tamada, but Honda re-shuffled the team pairings after Takahashi was forced out and Deguchi was called up from the bench.

The Castrol Suzuki of Vincent Philippe, Keiichi Kitagawa, and Matthieu Lagrive (Dunlop) were the class of the FIM championship teams at 12th overall. Their time of 2:12.178 seconds was nearly five seconds better than Yamaha Austria Racing (Pirelli), the next best FIM championship team.

Indeed, it was a bleak day for the Yamahas all around. The Yamaha Blue Racing factory team of Colin Edwards and Noriyuki Haga (Michelin) struggled with a time of 2:12.723 seconds. Edwards agreed with the consensus that the track was slippery and neither he nor Haga could get near the 2:10.1 times they had previously recorded during testing. The pair had a day to forget and were well down in 14th place.

Edwards reported that the viral illness that he experienced during the Laguna Seca MotoGP round was now much improved.

A total of 83 teams will battle it out for the 66 starting slots in Friday’s qualifying, with the top twenty teams going to Saturday’s Special Stage to set the final order for the LeMans start on Sunday.


1. Y.Teshima/G.Kamada, Honda, 2:09.637.

2. Y.Konishi/T.Yasuda, Honda, 2:09.997.

3. T.Yamaguchi/K.Tokudome, Honda, 2:10.178.

4. T.Tsujimura/ S.Ito, Honda, 2:10.354.

5. R.Kiyonari/M.Tamada, Honda, 2:10.673.

6. A.Watanabe/N.Aoki, Suzuki, 2:10.746.

7. C.Kameya/Y.Takeda, Honda, 2:11.022.

8. T.Hamaguchi/H.Kikuchi, Honda, 2:11.290.

9. K.Nakasuga/S.Nakatomi, Yamaha, 2:11.359.

10. T.Okada/O.Deguchi, Honda, 2:11.786.

11. N.Fujiwara/N.Osaki, Yamaha, 2:12.075.

12. V.Philippe/K.Kitagawa/M.Lagrive, Suzuki, 2:12.178.

13. S.Moriwaki/L.Camier, Honda, 2:12.407.

14. C.Edwards/N.Haga, Yamaha, 2:12.723.

15. Y.Sugai/J.Brookes, Honda, 2:12.775.

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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 05:51 PM
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Oh man................
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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-27-2006, 09:27 PM
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Honda's are cleaning house

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