Motegi WTCC: Gabriele Tarquini's Honda fastest on Friday

Honda started its home World Touring Car Championship weekend with a fastest time for works driver Gabriele Tarquini in Friday's test at Motegi

Motegi WTCC: Gabriele Tarquini's Honda fastest on Friday

The Civic WTCCs filled the top three places with Tarquini, Zengo driver Norbert Michelisz and second factory runner Tiago Monteiro going into the closing moments, before reigning champion Jose Maria Lopez got his Citroen among them in third.

The rest of the Citroens were more low-key, with Lopez's title rival Yvan Muller back in ninth and Sebastien Loeb two places further up.

Nicky Catsburg was top Lada driver in fifth overall, three places ahead of team-mate Rob Huff.

Le Mans 24 Hours LMP2 winner Nicolas Lapierre started his WTCC career with 12th place in his first official session in Lada's #47 Vesta.

None of the Chevrolets made it into the top 10, with ROAL driver Tom Coronel the best of the Cruzes in 11th.

The Japanese round marks the WTCC's resumption after a two-month summer break, and starts a string of flyaway races for the season's run-in, followed by Chinese Grand Prix Formula 1 venue Shanghai and debuts at the Buriram track in Thailand and Qatari MotoGP circuit Losail.

FRIDAY TEST TIMES:

Pos Driver Team Car Time Gap Laps
1 Gabriele Tarquini Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m57.146s - 9
2 Norbert Michelisz Zengo Motorsport Honda 1m57.659s 0.513s 11
3 Jose Maria Lopez Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m57.669s 0.523s 11
4 Tiago Monteiro Honda Racing Team JAS Honda 1m57.792s 0.646s 9
5 Nicky Catsburg LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m58.075s 0.929s 12
6 Mehdi Bennani Sebastien Loeb Racing Citroen 1m58.152s 1.006s 13
7 Sebastien Loeb Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m58.169s 1.023s 10
8 Rob Huff LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m58.714s 1.568s 12
9 Yvan Muller Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m58.852s 1.706s 12
10 Ma Qinghua Citroen Total WTCC Citroen 1m58.966s 1.820s 12
11 Tom Coronel ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 1m59.077s 1.931s 10
12 Nicolas Lapierre LADA Sport Rosneft Lada 1m59.358s 2.212s 12
13 John Filippi Campos Racing Chevrolet 1m59.371s 2.225s 11
14 Stefano D'Aste All-Inkl.com Munnich Motorsport Chevrolet 1m59.711s 2.565s 11
15 Hugo Valente Campos Racing Chevrolet 2m00.104s 2.958s 7
16 Tom Chilton ROAL Motorsport Chevrolet 2m00.228s 3.082s 8
17 Gregoire Demoustier Craft-Bamboo Racing Chevrolet 2m01.419s 4.273s 12


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Motegi WTCC: Gabriele Tarquini's Honda completes practice sweep

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