Two weeks from the season opener at Suzuka, the All Japan Road Racing Championship hosted its second round at Autopolis in Kyushu, Japan. Team KAGAYAMA traveled straight to Autopolis after Suzuka, in order to participate in the pre-raceweek test. Although Yukio Kagayama was able to perform its test menu on the sunny first day, he was not able to run the 2nd day due to heavy fog at the race track.
Because this would be the first race for other classes than the JSB100o, race week started Thursday, with extra practice sessions than other race weekends. Kagayama analyzed what was wrong at Suzuka, reconsidered his setup, and was heading to the right direction.
Qualifying was held Saturday, but a mechanical trouble for Kagayama haunted him in Q-1. The trouble occurred immediately after the start of Q-1, and Kagayama brings back the machine to the pit box. The team was able to fix the problem near the end of the session, and Kagayama took the machine out for a quick lap, and was able to advance to Q-2 in the 7th position.
Top ten riders in Q-1 ran in Q-2. Although Kagayama was not able to progress with his setup during Q-1, he managed to lap his best lap of the week at 1’49.458 and qualify 7th for the race.
Bad weather was expected on Sunday, but the sun came out as the day progressed, and by the time the JSB1000 race started, the track was in full dry condition. However, the temperature was at its lowest this week, and strong winds did not make it easier for the riders to race.
Kagayama made a good start from the 3rd row, and jumped up to 3rd by the time he reached the 1st corner. However, he immediately finds out that he cannot pace up, and drops to 5th at the end of the opening lap. Even after 2 laps, it was difficult to run fast enough, and Kagayama would drop to 7th. He would once allow a young rider to pass him, but would regain 7th. By the time, he was able to pace up, the leaders were way ahead of him. Kagayama finished 7th.
“I was 7th at every session during the race week…. I couldn’t setup my bike to find the speed to be able to run with the leaders. I was not able to adapt to the unexpected low temperature on race day, and made the same mistake I did at Suzuka, so obviously I am not happy at all with my result. I would try my best to achieve a better result in the next round. I thank all of you for your support. I promise I will show you a better race next time!”