Suzuka 8 Hours | Nagashima defeats Rea as Honda gets better of Kawasaki for pole | World Superbikes

FULL Suzuka 8 Hours Qualifying Results and Starting Order

Dubbed as something of a grudge match on home soil between Honda and Kawasaki’s flagship factory WorldSBK efforts, while Team Green has the advantage on the international stage, a stunning series of laps on Friday by Nagashima gave Honda a huge margin on the timesheets.

Even so, with Kawasaki’s most potent weapon in Jonathan Rea unable to show his pace on Friday due to rain occurring in both of his qualifying segments, it was hoped the six-time WorldSBK Champion could fight back in Saturday’s Top 10 Trial shootout.

However, while Rea would greatly improve KRT’s performance with a 2m 05.149secs lap, it was still no answer to Nagashima, who – having become the first Superbike rider to break into the 2m 04s bracket on Friday – did it once again with a 2m 04.934secs.

As such, Nagashima – a Moto2 race winner – two-time Suzuka 8 Hours winner Takumi Takahashi and ex-MotoGP rider Iker Lecuona will get underway from pole, with Rea, Leon Haslam and Alex Lowes getting away from second.

Having split the Honda and Kawasaki pair on Friday, YART slipped to third position as the highest-placed Endurance World Championship entry. The Niccolo Canepa, Marvin Fritz and Karel Hanika on the YART are Yamaha’s main representatives this year after Yamaha Factory Racing turned down the chance to race in protest at having its win in 2019 controversially awarded to KRT.

FCC TSR Honda will get away from fourth but its day was marred by a big accident for Gino Rea in the preceding FP2 session, an incident that has seen the Briton taken to hospital by helicopter.

Of the domestic All-Japan Superbike entries, it was SDG Honda that took over as the best place entry in fifth, ahead of the sister Sakurai Honda, Astemo Honda and Sofukai Honda teams in sixth, seventh and eighth.

Sixth overnight after Q2, BMW slipped to ninth on the grid with its trio Jeremy Guarnoni, Ilya Mikhalchik and Markus Reiterberger, while the tenth and final spot was assumed by the EVA 01 Kawasaki.

FULL Suzuka 8 Hours Qualifying Results and Starting Order

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