For the J-GP3 class in the Japan Road Racing Championship, this was the second time this season to race at Twin Ring Motegi. The 5th round of the series took place with only the J-GP3 and the J-GP2 class racing, and was co-hosted by the the 4th round of the Super Formula Series.
Kikuchi came to Motegi with no points in the Championship, crashing in both races that the J-GP3 class was held. This was the third race of the season for this class. From the start of the season, Kikuchi took control of solving the problems one by one, and this weekend was no different for him.
It would continue on in qualifying. At the end of the session, Kikuchi went out on a flying lap, marking his own best at each sector. However, a tangle at the 90 degrees corner with an another rider would end his time attack and ended up qualifying 10th.
Race day was welcomed with sunny skies, however not as humid and hot as a summer day would be in Japan. Kikuchi made an average start and kept the 10th position in the opening lap. From this point, Kikuchi would be in the fierce battle for the seventh position until the end of the race. The position would change every lap, but that did not allow Kikuchi to fret, showing his abilities as a veteran. When passed by a rider, he would check the weak points of them, so that he would know where to make a pass. He eventually won the battle and finished 7th in the race. Because race winner, Hiroki Ono, was not counted in the championship points, Kikuchi officially finished 6th and acquired his first points of the season.
“I have been able to solve the problems one by one, so the machine is now heading to a good direction. Although there are some more problems to be solved, I will try my best to solve them. I am happy to be finishing with points for the first time this season and will try my best to finish in a higher position in the next race.”