The Honda Endurance Racing team, with its Endurance specialists Sébastien Gimbert, Randy de Puniet and Yonny Hernandez, is ready for the 2018/2019 FIM Endurance World Championship’s Grand Finale at the legendary Suzuka 8 Hours event this weekend.
Suzuka greeted the Endurance World Championship teams with blistering heat and high humidity during both days of testing on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as for the fully-packed programme today. After a two-hour Free Practice in the morning, each rider had two Qualifying sessions around lunch time, followed by the first night practice in which the rain, which had been forecast all day, finally hit. There was a brief rain shower in this morning’s test, but that soon dried.
Honda’s Endurance specialists made steady progress and improved on their lap times from a year ago, but the competition is fiercer than ever for this iconic race. Struggling with front end grip on the 50+ degree Celsius tarmac, the team have been working hard all weekend to make gains and will continue to do so to be ready for the big final race of the season on Sunday, 28th of July.
It was Columbian rider Yonny Hernandez who took the team’s glory of being the fastest man of the trio, and the only one to lap sub 2:10 minutes. All three riders were close in pace though, and that consistency over eight hours of racing is incredibly important in overall race time. The Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 #111 will start the race from 21st position.
The 42ndEdition of the Suzuka 8 Hours gets underway at 11.30 local time (BST +8 hours) on Sunday 28 July. For all the latest news and updates on the team follow @HondaRacingCBR on Twitter.