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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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A Toy Story At Suzuka

Honda and Bridgestone continued at the top of the time sheets but with a loosened grip after timed qualifying was completed for the 29th Suzuka 8 Hours.

The Toy Story racing team of Yoshiteru Konishi and Takashi Yasuda earned the overnight pole position with a best lap time of 2:09.176. Konishi set the quick time after the track officials declared the session ‘wet’ after a few faint drops of rain. The declaration of ‘wet practice’ allowed unrestricted use of tires, and Konishi took advantage of the situation by fitting a Bridgestone qualifying tire on his Honda while the track was barely wet, if at all.

“Today I had a really good run. I had a little mistake. I wanted two minutes, eight seconds,” said Konishi. “It rained but the track conditions did not change much. Our main goal is the race so I will try to get good times tomorrow. At the moment we are having no problems with the motorcycle or the tires. I’m thinking right now that I should take Shinichi Ito’s riding style. He rides really smoothly and relaxed.”

Rain sprinkles in each of the afternoon sessions caused the sessions to be declared ‘wet’. Ironically, the wet afternoon sessions had faster lap times than the dry sessions in the morning as riders re-fitted their machines with softer rubber.

The Yoshimura Suzuki, also on Bridgestone, improved from sixth in practice to second best in qualifying. Atsushi Watanabe’s 2:09.636 second time was almost a second better than teammate Nobuatsu Aoki’s time due to Watanabe using a qualifying tire.

Noriyuki Haga used a soft Michelin to fire up the Yamaha Blue Racing from 14th in practice to third overall in qualifying with a lap time more than three seconds better than the team’s best on Thursday.

“My qualifying tire was really good,” said Haga. “I had a really good, considering we had no preparation for qualifying tires. In my first attempt I caught up with other bikes in the S-curves, and in my second attempt I caught up with bikes at the chicane. If that didn’t happen then I could have had a better time.”

Co-rider Colin Edwards elected not to try the soft Michelin due to the lack of remaining time in his session to change suspension settings to gain the full effect of the qualifying tire. In Haga’s case the team was ready to do just that.

“I know I didn’t have a setting that would work with a qualifier,” said Edwards. “I could have put a qualifier on but it would have been a waste of time with the fork settings we had.”

Edwards and Haga were fastest overall in the night session at 2:11.332.

The FCC Technical Sports Racing team of Takeshi Tsujimura and Shinichi Ito (Honda) improved their lap time but not their rank order and remained fourth overall. Ito was the faster of the two, but his effort was blunted after the team failed to firm up the forks after fitting a Bridgestone qualifying tire. After a pit stop to take care of that Ito ran up on lappers going into corners instead of coming out. His lap time of 2:09.950 was impressive under the circumstances.

The second FCC TSR team, fastest on Thursday, was fifth today. Gaku Kamada’s 2:09.975 lap time was matched by Masayuki Osaki on the Team Challenger Yamaha (Dunlop).

The Masked Rider team of Tatsuya Yamaguchi and Kazuki Tokudome, also on Bridgestone tires, were seventh best at 2:10.018. Tokudome was six seconds off of that pace after dislocating his shoulder in a fall on Thursday. The team’s reserve rider, however, was seven seconds off the pace.

Yamaha’s turnaround from Thursday was complete with the YSP & Presto Racing team of Katsuyuki Nakasuga and Shinichi Nakatomi (Dunlop) qualifying eighth with a time of 2:10.052. A bandaged Nakatomi was a full second faster than reserve rider Jason DiSalvo and DiSalvo’s chances of racing on Sunday are slim to none.

The HRC Seven Stars teams were ninth and tenth as the riders eschewed qualifying tires and concentrated on getting their bikes ready for the race. Ryuichi Kiyonari was the quickest of all at 2:10.089. Co-rider Makoto Tamada, riding with a sore knee from the German MotoGP, was over a second slower. Tamada has elected to let Kiyonari determine the best settings for their motorcycle so that Kiyonari can run quickest in the race. “We must at least win the race,” said Tamada in the team’s press release.

Thirty-nine year-old Tadayuki Okada qualified the other Seven Stars Honda in tenth at 2:10.199.

A total of 62 out of 83 teams made lap times good enough to qualify on merit.

Qualifying Results

1. Y.Konishi/T.Yasuda, Honda, 2:09.176.

2. A.Watanabe/N.Aoki, Suzuki, 2:09.636.

3. C.Edwards/N.Haga, Yamaha, 2:09.687.

4. T.Tsujimura/ S.Ito, Honda, 2:09.950.

5. Y.Teshima/G.Kamada, Honda, 2:09.975.

6. N.Fujiwara/N.Osaki, Yamaha, 2:09.975.

7. T.Yamaguchi/K.Tokudome, Honda, 2:10.018.

8. K.Nakasuga/S.Nakatomi, Yamaha, 2:10.052.

9. R.Kiyonari/M.Tamada, Honda, 2:10.089.

10. T.Okada/O.Deguchi, Honda, 2:10.199.

11. S.Moriwaki/L.Camier, Honda, 2:10.571.

12. C.Kameya/Y.Takeda, Honda, 2:10.598.

13. T.Hamaguchi/H.Kikuchi, Honda, 2:11.277.

14. H.Noda/Y.Kodama, Honda, 2:11.749.

15. V.Philippe/K.Kitagawa/M.Lagrive, Suzuki, 2:11.795
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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at least it's not all Honda at the front.
nitronori is offline  
post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 07-28-2006, 11:19 PM
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Go C.Edwards/N.Haga!!!!!!!!!
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