Day 2 of joint tests were held at Suzuka Circuit in the lead-up to the 2022 FIM Endurance World Championship Series 43rd “Coca-Cola” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race.
Teams were divided into groups A and B for two test sessions, an 80-minute morning session and a 90-minute afternoon session. Unaffected by the typhoon as feared, sunny skies and extreme heat set the stage for the entire day.
In Group B’s first run, F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Josh Hook / Gino Rea / Mike Di Meglio) was second-fastest with 2 min 7.499 s, a fraction of a second behind the leader. SDG Honda Racing (Teppei Nagoe / Naomichi Uramoto / Ikuhiro Enokido) was fourth, Team ATJ (Satoru Iwata / Yuki Takahashi / Tomoyoshi Koyama) fifth, and Honda Dream RT SAKURAI HONDA (Sodo Hamahara / Daijiro Hiura / Yuki Kunii) was sixth. Murayama.Honda Dream.RT (Kosuke Akiyoshi / Osamu Deguchi / Yoshihiro Konno) also managed a 2 min 8 s lap.
In the second run for Group A, Team HRC (Tetsuta Nagashima / Takumi Takahashi / Iker Lecuona) led the field with 2 min 6.232 s. Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing (Kosuke Sakumoto / Kazuma Watanabe / Taiga Hada) was fifth-fastest with 2 min 7.483 s. Honda Sofukai Suzuka Racing (Yudai Kamei / Yuki Sugiyama / Jun Tadokoro) was sixth-fastest with 2 min 7.544 s, while TOHO Racing (Ryuichi Kiyonari / Takuma Kunimine / Hiromichi Kunikawa) was 11th with a best time of 2 min 8.802 s.
In Group B’s third run, F.C.C. TSR Honda France (Josh Hook / Gino Rea / Mike Di Meglio) set the fastest time with 2 min 7.981 s. Honda Dream RT SAKURAI HONDA was second, SDG Honda Racing sixth, Team ATJ seventh, and Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA (Md Zaqhwan Bin Zaidi / Gerry Salim / Helmi Bin Azman) was 11th.
In Group A’s fourth run, Team HRC was third fastest with 2 min 6.949 s, Astemo Honda Dream SI Racing was seventh with 2 min 7.720 s, and TOHO Racing was tenth with 2 min 8.634 s.
Sudden spikes in air and track temperatures caused numerous red flags halting proceedings throughout the day. Although Honda Asia-Dream Racing with SHOWA’s Gerry Salim crashed and heavily damaged his bike, he was uninjured and managed to complete the team’s tests on schedule. On Day 2, teams with three riders needed to consider how to allocate time and tests to each of their riders. As the day progressed, lap times improved on average.
Team HRC’s team manager, Kazuhiko Yamano said, “We ran all the tests we had planned for Suzuka 8 Hours, gathering very good data. Our competitors were faster than we expected, so we’ll be going into race week making adjustments and building our strategy accordingly. Nagashima and our other riders did long-runs well, and combined they make a great team.”