Another disappointment for Kikuchi at Tsukuba
Hiroyuki Kikuchi, racing in the J-GP3 class in the All Japan Roadrace Championship, had a disappointing weekend at the Round 4 of the series at Tsukuba Circuit. Since the J-GP3 class did not race in Rounds 2 and 3, this was Kikuchi’s 2nd race of the season.
Kikuchi started out the weekend by trying to solve the problem he had in Round 1. Kikuchi was battling for the win until the corner before last on the last lap, when he was clipped by the rider in contention. For him, this round at Tsukuba would have been an important race for him.
Predicting that the temperature would go very high, Kikuchi selected a tire with harder compound so that it would not wear out for the length of the race. However, this choice would not allow him to find the best setting. He qualified 8th.
Kikuchi, usually good in starts, could not manage to show a rocket start. He would drop down to 10th in the first few laps, but would eventually move up to 7th, trying to find the best riding style to match the setting. In Lap 11, just when his laptime was improving, he made a mistake at the 1st hairpin, and would touch the rider in front of him. This made Kikuchi fall, and retire from the race. The other rider, although dropping a few positions, managed not to fall and continue the race.