POLE POSITION CONFIRMED FOR YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM AT SUZUKA
The Yamaha Factory Racing Team will start the 42nd edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours tomorrow from pole position on the grid, following the cancellation of all track activities this afternoon due to adverse weather conditions. Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark were all set to defend their provisional pole position, achieved in yesterday’s qualifying sessions, in today’s Top 10 Trial, which was scheduled to get underway at 15.30.
However, the untimely arrival of Tropical Storm Nari, which made landfall early this morning in Mie Prefecture where the Suzuka circuit is located, meant that the Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders arrived to find the track blanketed by low lying cloud and with heavy rain making track conditions treacherous. As the rain continued unabated throughout the day the decision was made to cancel both the planned free practice session and the Top 10 Trial on safety grounds, with the result that the grid for tomorrow’s Suzuka 8 Hours will form up in the order in which the teams qualified yesterday.
This means that the Yamaha Factory Racing Team trio of Nakasuga, Lowes and van der Mark will chase Yamaha’s fifth consecutive Suzuka 8 Hours win from pole position. The 42nd edition of the Suzuka 8 Hours will get underway with the traditional Le Mans style start at 11.30 local time tomorrow.
Michael van der Mark – Yamaha Factory Racing Team: “It’s a shame we didn’t get to ride today because of the amount of standing water on track, as there were many fans who braved the weather to support us. But we will start tomorrow from pole, which is good, but it will be a long race like always. I’m looking forward to it, especially as we will go into the race with a really strong team, with all three of us really consistent. If we can maintain the same pace in the race, not make any mistakes or run into any bad luck, then I think we will be in a good position to fight for the win once again.”