Suzuka 8hr - Manufacturers Testing

Posted on Jul 20, 2015 by Yamaha Factory Racing

The YAMAHA FACTORY RACING TEAM took part in a final two-day official testing session at Suzuka Circuit for the Suzuka 8 Hours to be held from July 23. After the first day of testing in fair weather, the dry conditions continued on day two for the 1.5-hour sessions in the morning and the afternoon, enabling the Yamaha teams to complete all of their scheduled testing successfully and head toward the upcoming 8 Hours race with confidence.Throughout the two days of testing, Katsuyuki Nakasuga was evaluating things like tyre selection and fuel consumption, while his teammates Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith concentrated mainly on verifying tyre performance and getting more familiar with the Suzuka course riding on the same machine. On the final day, they also rode the machine that Nakasuga had set up and had the opportunity to discuss set-up direction and work toward the settings they wanted.

During the two days of testing, all three teammates agreed that getting the machine to a point where all three of them could ride fast on it was the important thing, but they also found that there was not considerable difference in the directions each sought in the set-up. They eventually found a set-up they could be satisfied with and this gave them newfound confidence for the upcoming race. As proof of the good feeling they got, the team managed to record the fastest lap times on both days, with a 2’07.995 on the first day and 2’08.167 on the second. Their confidence was thus backed up by solid results.

During this session, the team also worked on simulating pit stops to polish their teamwork. In particular, this was the first time for Espargaró and Smith to be involved in pit work, but with the support of the team staff, who all have considerable experience in the Suzuka 8 Hours, they were soon performing their roles smoothly, demonstrating that they were reaching a high level of preparation as a team in areas other than riding.

Bradley Smith - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Rider:
“Since the three riders share the same machine in the Suzuka 8 Hours, I honestly wasn’t sure how well things would go. But, during these two days we found that the preferred settings for all three of us were quite close and we were able to get satisfying results in the tests, so in terms of conditions, I feel we’ve managed to get about 95% for both the machine and myself. The Suzuka 8 Hours is not an event where I compete alone; it’s an event where Nakasuga and Pol and the entire team compete together with me. So it’s important that we all think about what we can each bring to the effort and then do our best. For example, in MotoGP, Pol is my rival, but in the 8 Hours we’re working together as good teammates. But you never know what can happen in racing. There are worries and I will be nervous, but there’s also the knowledge that both my mind and body will be challenged in the race and I feel that I’m looking forward to that. This is a team that brings together a fantastic machine, riders and staff. Considering this, it’s only natural that the race should bring good results. I hope everyone will be looking forward to it.”

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