Team Suzuki Press Office – July 27.
Suzuki Endurance Racing Team has made its first steps on track at the Suzuka International Circuit in Japan for this weekend’s season finale – the Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Championship fifth round in Japan.
The 15-times World Champions currently hold a narrow one-point lead in the series, and for the 40th-Anniversary Suzuka 8 Hours, have drafted-in young, but experienced Japanese rider Sodo Hamahara into the squad to race the GSX-R1000 alongside long-time team members Vincent Philippe and Etienne Masson, as SERT’s third rider, Alex Cudlin, will be the team’s reserve rider.
Today’s initial on-track sessions saw SERT going through many different set-up options before the final practice and initial qualifying sessions begin tomorrow (Friday) in readiness for Sunday’s race.
Team Manager Dominique Hébrard, who has been standing-in for SERT Team Manager and Principal Dominique Meliand this season as he recuperates, has confirmed that the work will be demanding in the lead-up to Japan’s most-prestigious motorcycle race on Sunday.
He said: “We have tested many possibilities regarding tyres, frame settings and suspension. Sometimes, we quickly find the best package to use, but other times, we must be more patient. However, a small crash by Vincent today proved to us we have still a lot of work to do tomorrow.”
In the initial practice sessions today, Yoshimura Suzuki Motul Racing was the top Suzuki GSX-R1000-mounted team on the timesheets with third position, while Team KAGAYAMA finished just outside the top-10.