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Tamada all ready for the season opener at Sepang

Tamada Rd1 2013

Makoto Tamada is all ready for the season to open at Sepang this week.  The first round of 2013 FIM Petronas Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is scheduled to open this weekend at Sepang International Circuit.  This will be Tamada’s full season entry since his last year at the World Superbike Championship in 2009.

Since then, Tamada has raced at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours Endurance every year, with a couple of wildcard entries in the World Superbike Championship.  In 2012, he was also appointed as Professional Trainer for the Asia Dream Cup.  Asia Dream Cup is a class in the Asian Championship, with an objective to train young Asian riders to compete in a World Championship in the future.

The ARRC has been a focus for Japanese motorcycle manufacturers in recent years.  In 2011, former World Supersports and Superbike rider, Katsuaaki Fujiwara (Kawasaki) took the title.  In 2012, Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) was summoned to the series by Honda, and won the Championship.  Because of the participation of such world class riders as Fujiwara and Kiyonari, the improvements of Asian riders have been significant.

In addition to Tamada, 9 other Japanese riders will enter the series this year, including WGP rider, Motoyoshi Koyama, along with a handful of Japanese Championship riders.  Former WGP riders, Youichi Ui and Shinya Nakano also participate in the series as advisors for teams, riders, and categories.  These all will lead to the growth of ARRC as well as the growth of the Asian riders.

There are two jobs Tamada has to take care of this season.  The first one is to continue on what he started last year, but this year as an rider, to support Asian riders, and make an Asian Champion from Honda.  The second one is to bring a back-to-back Championship title for Honda, which started last year with Kiyonari’s title.

This would be the first time in Tamada’s career to ride a 600cc bike.  It took a little more than expected time for Tamada to get used to the machine, during the pre-season tests.  However, by the second test, he was lapping at race speed, and was competitive with his teammate, Azlan Shah Kamaruzaman.  For Tamada, the race weekend will not only be setting up his own bike, but will give his teammates advice in the set-ups and riding techniques.

Comment, Makoto Tamada
“I can’t wait until the season starts.  I am confident of the machine, and I now what the machine can do and cannot at the last test.  From here, it would be making the Honda CBR600RR a competitive bike to win the Championship.  I know my teammates well from last year, and we are all in a very good mood.  I promise I would give the back-to-bike title for the team and Honda”

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