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For their first Suzuka 8 Hours participation, the French team is still on a learning curve in Japan and will start the race on Sunday from the 17th position on the grid. Another Kawasaki made an impression, though: the Japanese TeamGreen squad clocked the best qualification time lap with a 2'06.656 circulation.
The qualifying sessions have been quite difficult for the Team Kawasaki SRC who suffered three crashes during the day. But it was not enough to affect Gilles Stafler’s team's determination. “Matthieu Lagrive and Gregory Leblanc crashed and the frame of our race bike was damaged”, said Gilles Stafler calmly. “Now we need to find our race pace and our goal is to lead the permanent teams”.
If the machines have suffered, the riders are fine and ready to follow Gilles Stafler directions. The Suzuka 8 Hours start will take place Sunday at 11:30 am local time (GMT + 9) with a night arrival at 7:30 pm.
"The qualifying session started pretty well. I've done my best lap with a 2'09.556. But after several sessions under the rain, we are short of feedback with race tyres on a dry track".
"This is our team first participation in Suzuka and we have a lot of things to learn, but we know our race potential".
"This is the first time I have raced in Suzuka. I took the bike after this morning’s three crashes so I went quite carefully. For now, it's a bit frustrating but the week-end is only just starting".
This testing day was yet to register as a red-letter day for Kawasaki, with the Team Green achievement. This official Japanese Kawasaki team scored the best qualifying laptime with Kazuki Watanabe in 2'06.656. Team Green will defend his pole position tomorrow (Saturday) during the Superpole, an event open to the first ten teams in qualification. The last time a Kawasaki was seen on pole position for the Suzuka 8 Hours was back in 1995.