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Gabriele Tarquini and Honda have enjoyed a flying start to the manufacturer's home event in the FIA World Touring Car Championship by topping the timesheet at Twin Ring Motegi.

Tarquini, in the factory Castrol Honda Civic WTCC machine, went quickest by over half a second from fellow Honda driver Norbert Michelisz, while WTCC championship leader Jose Maria Lopez acted as the sole Citroen driver in the top five with Honda's Tiago Monterio in fourth and Lada's Nicky Castburg fifth.

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It proved to be a difficult day for the French manufacturer with Mehdi Bennani beating three of the four top Citroen cars, with Sebastien Loeb seventh, Yvan Muller ninth and Ma Qing Hua completing the top ten.

British driver Rob Huff split the Citroens after putting his Lada Roseneft Vesta in eighth, while none of the Chevrolet machines managed to break into the top ten.

The 2015 WTCC season recommences after a two-month summer break for the final stretch of the campaign, starting in Japan before moving on to China and Thailand with the season finishing in Qatar.