Team KAGAYAMA all ready for the Suzuka 8 Hours race
#17 Team KAGAYAMA and Verity tested a series of set-ups on July 2, 3, 8, and 9, and is all ready for the 37th “Coca-Cola Zero” Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance Race scheduled to take place July 24-27 at Suzuka Circuit. It will be the second round of the 2014 FIM World Endurance Championship.
It was the first time the three riders-Yukio Kagayama, Noriyuki Haga, and Dominique Aegerter gathered together at the Suzuka 8 Hours Official Open Test held on July 2nd and 3rd. Since it was very close to shaking down the Suzuka 8 Hours version of the machine, Kagayama took the lead in setting it up. Because Dominique could not attend the test on the 8th and 9th due to his racing schedule, Haga sacrificed his own time to allow Dominique to have more laps. It was Dominique’s first time at Suzuka Circuit, and his first on a Superbike machine, so he concentrated on getting used to the track and the machine. However, this did not stop Dominique from posting the best lap of the team on Day 2, and proved that he adapted well which was good news to the team.
After a short interval, the team tested at Suzuka again on July 8th and 9th. Due to a typhoon that was nearing Japan, weather conditions were the team’s concern, but fortunately, the team was able to run in dry conditions on the 1st day, and the first half of the 2nd day. Haga, not having been able to do enough laps at the prior test, maximized his laps and gave the team fruitful information on the set-up.
It will be important for the team to understand exactly how far the set-up can be effective at the first practice session on July 24th.
“With all three riders present at the first test, and with many of the staff present, I’d say about 90% of the team were able to attend the test. We need more staff members at Suzuka 8 Hours, but we were able to kick-off the team, and I am happy for that. I wouldn’t say we have a perfect balance in the machine set-up, but both Noriyuki (Haga) and Dominique (Aegerter) have posted good lap times, so I hope we can keep on setting up the machine in the right direction come race week. We have a interesting package again this year, so I hope all of you will be looking forward to the race.”
“There are still issues on the machine, but we were able to try a variety of set-ups at the second test, so I hope Dominique can find a set-up that will make him say “I’m happy”. The team is working very hard, so I hope to show our best performance on race day.”
“I had some concerns before the test as it was my first time at Suzuka and my first time on 1000cc bike. But Suzuka has a great facility, and the course layout is a lot of fun. Both Kagayama and Haga are well experienced riders, and their support is very encouraging. I am looking forward to the Suzuka 8 Hours, and want to thank the team for giving me the opportunity for such a valuable experience.”