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2019 MFJ All Japan Road Race Championship Series Round 3 SUPERBIKE RACE IN SUGO

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Miyagi Prefecture: Sports Land SUGO

May 2019
25fth (Saturday) Official Qualifying, Weather: Sunny, Course: Dry
26th (Sunday) Final, Weather: Sunny, Course: Dry

ST600
#230 Tomoyoshi Koyama
Qualifying: 2nd (1’31″226)
Final: Victory

#55 Takuma Kunimine
Qualifying: 6th (1’31″543)
Final: 6th Place

#420 Satoru Iwata
Qualifying: 23rd (1’32″617)
Final: 15fth Place

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Koyama demonstrated his riding skill and celebrated his first victory this season!

The 3rd series of All Japan Road Race Championship Series was held in Miyagi Prefecture Sports Land SUGO.

The Round 2 Suzuka was held only for the JSB1000 class, so, Japan Post Honda Dream TP’s ST600 class is the 2nd race this time.

In the opening round in Twin Ring Motegi, Tomoyoshi Koyama happened to have some machine trouble. In the final round, he was able to show off his speed to his opponents. The team which is led by coach Teshima, rebuilt the team and rechecked the motorcycle in order to win again.

Koyama marked a good time to meet the team’s enthusiasm. His opponents were faster, but he did not lose at his average speed. Kunimine, on the other hand, was suffering due to his motorcycle settings.

Before the race week, the team decided to appoint Satoru Iwata to the 3rd #420 machine. Iwata has been in charge as Team Coach for several years and was supposed to compete in the Sprint Race for 4-years swing.
Speaking of SUGO, it has been hit by bad weather condition for the past few years, but this year, the weather is fine in 3-consecutive days. And the temperature is getting better every day. On Sunday, the temperature will hit to 32°C, and the road surface will also hit to 53°C, which means mid-summer weather conditions. Koyama saw the weather forecast and thought that the hotter it would be, the greater chance for victory. He goes through the session thinking about settings that could match the high road surface temperature.

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On the first day, Koyama who marked the time of (1’31”183) was on the top. Kunimine was in 11th place, and Iwata who started to race from this day was in 30th place.

On Saturday, the temperature got even higher, and the official qualifying took place with tire grip. Koyama marked 1:31:226 in the early stage of the session and put him on the top of the leader board, but Nagao overtook Oyama’s time. Koyama was second, Kunimine finished in the 5th place, and Iwata was in the 23rd place.

Sunday was hit by severe heat. Koyama, who set suspension with used tires even in the morning warm-up, made the final adjustment on the grid and started the race. Koyama who made a good start passed the 1st corner in 2nd place. Kunimine was also in the 6th place.

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Nagao, who runs at the top, flies at a high pace from the opening lap and leds the race. Koyama was desperate on doing his best, and on lap 4, he marked 1’31″054, which was the fastest lap time of this race.

This time, it became SUGO’s new course best record. Kunimine cannot keep up with this pace and will be delayed gradually. At the middle of the race, Okamoto stands on the top and led the race. Koyama is also marked his tail perfectly. The final stage of the race was completely a battle between Okamoto up to the final lap. It was Koyama who joined in by breaking at the 1st corner, but it becomes a cross line and he pulled back at the 2nd corner.

On this day, Oyama who had been firmly checking that the back straight was a tailwind started with breaking from the back straight to the horseback corner and rose to the top! There is a 10% slope at the final corner, and both go side by side straight through the finish line.

As a result, Oyama was ahead by (00’00″002) and won the first victory this season. Kunimine won the battle with Furuyama and ranked 6th. Iwata gradually raised his position and finished with 15th place.

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A word from the riders

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Tomoyoshi Koyama’s comment

The troubles continued in the opening race, so the desire to win this time brought the team into one.” I think winning a race in Sportsland SUGO is a huge dream because this is course can be called as a Demon course. I would like to thank the team for preparing a perfect motorcycle. At the beginning of the race, Nagao made a very fast pace, so I could barely able to follow it but I was able to compete to the end. The next race will be in Tsukuba. I will do my best to win on both races.

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Takuma Kunimine’s comment

In this time SUGO rounds, my time did not improved from pre-test. I was strayed on the race week until Friday. It feels like I finally got it in the official qualifying round on Saturday. In the final round, I was not able to hit the top group because I had a slow pace. The last race was difficult because I had problems with my motorcycle, but I think I did my best on the race. In the next race in Tsukuba, this course will bring out the power of the riders. So, I would like to decide my machine settings securely from the pre-test and aim to win in both races.

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Satoru Iwata’s comment

It was an competition without practice but I had a very intense race week. There were also instances that I was confused because I was into Sprint Race for 4 years in the ST600 class but I have taken a steady step with the help of the advice I got from Koyama and being an instructor for young riders in the recent years. It was a good experience as I was able to finish within 15th places with the time of 1 min and 32 seconds that I was aiming for I would like to thank the team.

 

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Team Representative Yusuke Teshima’s comment

Thank you very much for your support and cooperation in this competition as well.

After the Twin Ring Motegi previous race, I think that the riders and the staff both come out with a strong desire to rebuild the team by this SUGO race because the trouble continued in the previous race and made Koyama unpleasant experience.” I think both Kunimine and Iwata worked so hard, and I really want to thank the staff. The next Tsukuba round is a 2-race system, so it will be an important race to compete for the title. I would like to prepare for the next race to be able to win again with this flow.
Thank you for your continued support

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Our mission is to look for unique and valuable news that are from Japan and Asia related to motorcycles and publish to the world. "Webike staff" is name of a team who edit, translate and draft the articles we publish that are brought from all our branches around the world. Not all of our employees ride motorcycle, but find worth living to bring reader say "wow".
 

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