2012 MotoGP podium finisher Katsuyuki Nakasuga has taken his Monster Energy Yamaha YART team to the top of the timesheets for the Suzuka 8 Hours.

Rain showers at the circuit forced the cancellation of the usual Time Trial single-lap sprint format and replaced with a 40-minute qualifying session for the Top-10 Qualifying teams and run in temperatures of 30 degrees in 60% humidity.

Nakasuga, who finished second in the Valencia Grand Prix last season for Yamaha whilst riding in place of the injured Ben Spies, lapped his local circuit in 2mins 06.817s to put the bike he will share with Josh Waters and Broc Parkes in front.

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Next to the Monster Energy Yamaha on the grid will be the Yoshimura Suzuki outfit of Takuya Tsuda and Josh Brookes. Arguably more impressive, however, was Michael van der Mark's run on the Musashi RT Harc-Pro bike, the World Supersport rider qualifying an excellent third ahead of World Superbike star Jonathan Rea on the FCC TSR Honda.

Fifth on the grid will be BMW Motorrad France Team Thevent, courtesy of Erwan Nigon, followed by the Kagayama Suzuki 'legends' entry of former grand prix riders Yukio Kagayama, Noriyuki Haga and 1993 500cc world champion Kevin Schwantz.

Team manager Kagayama said: "I had plans that Kevin and Nori would enter Superpole, but it was cancelled due to rain. However, we finally we got sixth position in the extra qualifying session, which is ok.

"We think that consistent lap-times are more important more than a one-lap special fastest lap Time Trial and we have a great privateer team with Kevin and Nori. We've not entered the race as a gimmick, our goal is to win and we believe that we can!"

Sunday's Suzuka 8-Hour race gets underway at 11:30hrs local time (GMT +9).