The Dream Honda Racing 11 factory machine of Ryuichi Kyonari and Cralos Checa is leading the race since almost the beginning, ahead of both Yoshimura Suzuki 34 and 12.
There was no lack of emotion after the start of the race. Following Akiyoshi’s holeshot on the Yoshimura Suzuki 34, Kiyonari took the lead as from the second lap. ON the FCC TSR Honda 2, Shinichi Itoh came back quick to fight for the lead against the Kyonari.
The first surprise came around 14h00. Itoh crashed and took some time to bring the motorcycle back to the pits. Some minutes before 15h00, a storm came above Suzuka dropping hard rain on the track. On the Yoshimura Suzuki 34, Yukio Kagayama took advantage of the circumstances and overtook Carlos Checa on the Dream Honda 11. Maybe too confident on the wet track, Kagayama crashed at the end of the main straight, but came back quickly on the track without going to the pits and remained in second place ahead of the other Yoshimura Suzuki 12. Everything remains to be done.
The race takes different aspects for various permanent teams, which have difficulties to get into the top 15 in order to take World Championship points. Only the Suzuki Endurance Racing Team is doing it so far with a tenth place despite the absence of Vincent Philippe, injured during practice, and a stop and go for speeding in the pit-lane.
Yamaha Austria was in the 17th place after four hours of racing, just ahead of YMES Folch Endurance, Phase One Endurance and Endurance Moto 38. Maco Moto was then in 23rd position, and LTG 57 first Superstock.
For others, the race came to an early end. The Fortezza Amadeux X-One was betrayed by an engine failure at the beginning of the race. The Honda RMT 21 Racing came back to the pits for a clutch problem. Bolliger Team Switzerland was also in the pits following the crash of David Morillon on the wet track.
Now the sun came back over Suzuka and the track is dra again, for this second part of the race.