Unfortunately for Honda they didn’t have such a great day. They lost all three of its Bridgestone-shod cars in Q1 and thus achieved a disappointing result. After all, Baguette, their driver, also spoke: "I'm surprised to be struggling so much," Baguette told Motorsport.com.
"I knew we wouldn’t be at the front, but I was expecting maybe to be top five and not where we are. "We had a messy practice session, we did some miscommunication on the set-up. We put things back together for qualifying but we missed a bit for Q2.
If we made it to Q2 I think we could have been P5 or P6. "Usually we are stronger in the races, but looking at the speed of the Bridgestone Toyotas, I don’t know how we can beat them. We need to clear the Yokohama [Bandoh Toyota] and Dunlop cars [Mugen and Nakajima Hondas] as soon as possible and then see what happens.
"I don’t know what tyre [the Toyotas] used, so we may have chosen a better tyre for the race. But I was expecting a top five in qualifying, so it’s hard to give any targets."
Tomoki Nojiri was the slowest of all Honda drivers, and eventually finished 14th "The feeling in practice was not that good," he told Motorsport.com.
"We made some changes to the set-up, but we couldn't fix the problems. "Fukuzumi also didn't seem to have a good feeling with the car, but in the GT500-only running, the car suddenly changed its behaviour and he was able to set a good time.
However, the team didn't fully understand why this happened, and in Q1 the car went back to its bad balance. "I think everyone feels surprised that the Supras suddenly got faster. However, the other Honda teams using Bridgestone tyres also dropped out in Q1, so I think there is something wrong.
All three Honda-Bridgestone teams need to work together to clarify the cause." Baguette and Noyri revealed what the problem was "We have seen in previous years that they [Toyota] manage that better than us," said Baguette.
"When we had the third stage restrictor last year we lost all our speed, and the TOM’S cars could still be there. I don’t know if it’s all [because of] that, but I think it’s partly that."
"Something went wrong, maybe also for the other Hondas, but the car wasn't well-balanced," Nojiri said. "If the car was perfect and we still lost, that would be something to investigate, but I think we haven't reached that point yet."