Following a busy day of track action in Japan, with one free practice and two qualifying sessions, the Honda TT Legends team will start the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance World Championship race from 29th on the grid in an ultra-competitive field of expert teams.
Conditions remained dry, hot and humid throughout the day as Simon Andrews, Michael Rutter and John McGuinness took to the Honda-owned 5.8km circuit for two 30-minute qualifying sessions apiece. The team’s main aim was consistency and synchronicity between the riders and it achieved this with all three posting 2’12 laps. Suzuka novice Andrews was the quickest with 2’12.604, while fellow newcomer Rutter achieved 2’12.808 and McGuinness’s fastest lap was 2’12.954.
The team will take part in a night practice session this evening, followed by a one-hour free practice tomorrow afternoon. The Suzuka 8 Hours race will begin at 11.30am Japanese Standard Time on Sunday 28 July.
It’s been a good day overall and we’ve had no major problems. Our biggest issue is that two of the riders have never ridden here before so for them it is all about learning the circuit. It’s always hard to qualify here with all the local teams and the humid conditions but it’s gone reasonably well. Now it’s just a case of preparing for the race and hopefully our usual consistent performance will put us somewhere in the top ten.
It’s been a long, tough day. We’re working really hard with the bike and have made quite a few changes during the day. We’re all within a tenth or two of each other in the 12s, which is a pretty respectable time considering the field of competition that we’re in here. I always want more but we’re trying hard and when it comes to the race we’ll just keep plugging away as we do and hopefully we’ll be somewhere in the points come the flag.
It’s been a good day. I’ve had a lot to learn having never been here before and there are so many expert teams out on track We’ve learned a lot though and we’ve got the bike turning a bit better. It’s so hot and it’s going to be a very hard race but we’ll go out there and enjoy ourselves.
I was quick in most sessions but at the stage that I thought I could go a bit quicker it didn’t work so well. I had two near misses that could’ve been costly but I made it back and we made some changes to the chassis that put us back in the right direction. I’m looking forward to the race, it will definitely be interesting.