MotoGP » Eight years on: Daijiro Kato remembered

It was eight years ago today (April 20) that Daijiro Kato succumbed to injuries sustained in the 2003 season-opening Japanese MotoGP race, at Suzuka...

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hello moto - Unregistered

April 20, 2011 9:28 PM

Dajiro, I'm sorry that your death with always be associated with the ignoble move to 21L 800cc bikes.

I will always admire you for your accomplishments, and I will always spit on Honda for tainting your legacy.

lc - Unregistered

April 21, 2011 12:06 AM

Not to bring up sad memories, but does anyone recall what the final findings were, re: Kato's accident at Suzuka? It seemed like there was a lot of confusion/speculation over what happened?
I had the very good fortune to watch him at Philip Island in 2001...on the gas miles ahead of his competitors coming out of Siberia...pure magic to see and hear.

MM - Unregistered

April 21, 2011 12:10 AM

Like the late great Jarno Saarinen, a tragic early loss of a natural talent that had so much to offer the sport. The battles with Rossi would have been the stuff of legend had he lived.

Motogp fan - Unregistered

April 21, 2011 3:18 AM

RIP, Kato

I do not agree with all this future champion, certainly alien, legend stuff.
He was a abnormally light rider, which gave him advantage in 250 class, plus competition wasn't particularly strong.
In premium class, on the other hand his weight advantage wasn't paramount any more and there was lots of excellent riders to compete with.
Poor Kato died without ever realizing why winning is suddenly so hard ...

Mark from Toronto - Unregistered

April 21, 2011 4:24 AM

I remember how shocked and sad I felt when I heard the news about Daijiro. He was awesome. Japans Rossi. The rivalries we were deprived of witnessing, his fighting spirit and his wonderful sportsmanship. Sayounara Kato San we miss you, you were a star that never fully had a chance to shine.


April 21, 2011 5:37 AM


First let me say that Daijiro's death was an absolute tragedy, apart from the road racing fraternity, his death deeply affected the Japanese as he was regarded (and rightly so) as potentially their most talented rider ever well as being a genuinely nice guy.

My recollection on the results of the inquiry was that Daijiro got the rear wheel(a long way) out of line to the left under brakes on the way into the right/left chicane before the main grandstand at Suzuka.

I can remember the next bit being a bit vague but from onboard footage from a bike behind they concluded that his front wheel might have hopped over a stutter bump and dumped the rear wheel back on the ground which fired him across the track to the right straight into the steel fence.

It was my understanding that this fence which could not be moved back (amongst other things) was the reason Suzuka was dropped from the World Championships

A Fan - Unregistered

April 21, 2011 8:48 AM

I own a limited edition Shoei Daijiro helmet that was released as a tribute to him, its one of my prized posessions, pity its not possible to have it autographed by one of GP's greats. R.I.P Daijiro. 74 for ever.

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