Race After 6 Hours
EWC 2023
Round 3

Team HRC with Japan Post Still Leads After 6 Hours

jp Suzuka Circuit
Team HRC with Japan Post Still Leads After 6 Hours

After four hours, Team HRC with Japan Post (Takumi Takahashi / Tetsuta Nagashima / Xavi Vierge) rider Nagashima was lapping as fast as Takahashi in the 2 min 8s range, consolidating the team’s lead. SDG Honda Racing (Teppei Nagoe / Naomichi Uramoto / Haruki Noguchi) rider Noguchi, in fifth, was pushing to reduce the 30 second gap with fourth place.

The leaderboard fluctuated as teams had different pitstop strategies, but on Lap 125, TOHO Racing (Ryuichi Kiyonari / Takuma Kunimine / Ikuhiro Enokido) rider Kiyonari was up to third place. Honda Dream RT SAKURAI Honda (Kazuki Ito / Daijiro Hiura / Kota Arakawa) rider Arakawa was sixth, SDG Honda Racing (Teppei Nagoe / Naomichi Uramoto / Haruki Noguchi) rider Nagoe seventh, Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA (Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi / Andi Farid Izdihar / Nakarin Atiratphuvapat) rider Izdihar tenth, and F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Mike Di Meglio / Alan Techer / Tarran Mackenzie) rider Techer 11th.

On Lap 128 Nagashima upped his pace to 2 min 7.601s increasing his lead. His pace slowed down due to back markers, but second-place Sylvain Guintoli (Suzuki) at 2 min 10s was no match. On Lap 129, Kiyonari, third, increased his pace to 2 min 9s, but he had to make up 1 min 20s to reach Guintoli.

On Lap 134, Vierge takes over from Nagashima to defend the Team HRC with Japan Post’s lead. On Lap 136, the gap between Vierge and Guintoli is 1 min 54.972s. Kiyonari, third, maintains his 2 min 9s pace as he pits to hand the bike to Enokido.

A crash on the West straight causes safety cars to enter at 4:33 pm. Once the safety cars left the track at 4:49 pm, the race order on Lap 144 was Vierge, Étienne Masson (Suzuki), Takuya Tsuda (Suzuki), Enokido, Nagoe, Marcel Schrötter (Suzuki). On Lap 145, the gap between third-place Tsuda and fourth-place Enokido is 8.357s. Nagoe allows Schrötter, and moves down to sixth place.

On Lap 148, Enokido is third, and Nagoe moves up to fifth. Vierge completes his 150th lap, consistently riding at 2 min 9s. Masson is second, and Enokido third. On Lap 150, Uramoto takes over from Nagoe for SDG Honda Racing. Uramoto sets a good pace to reach Hiura, fifth on Lap 155. The race order at this time is Takahashi, Masson, Enokido, Dan Linfoot (Suzuki), Hiura, and Uramoto. Mackenzie is up to ninth, and Atiratphuvapat defends tenth place.

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