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Ito finishes final motorcycle race?

"At this moment I don't have any plans to participate in another Motorcycle race" - Shinichi Ito.
Wild-card Kousuke Akiyoshi won the battle of the Honda test riders by beating countryman Shinichi Ito for twelfth place in Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix.

But just finishing what is likely to be his last two-wheeled race was a victory for both 44-year-old Ito and those in his home region - devastated by the earthquake and tsunami - which he hoped to inspire by taking part in the event.

"First of all, I'd like to say big a very big thank you to Honda. They gave me this possibility to race a MotoGP machine again and through this I hope I brought courage to the victims of the East Japan disaster," said Ito, who took six podium as a full time grand prix rider from 1993-1996.

"My target for this race was to simply take the chequered flag and I achieved this. Considering that today was no ordinary race, I'm very happy with the result!

"I had a physical problem after Friday's crash, so the first part of the race was difficult for me. I reminded myself the main reason for participating and I knew I could not give up. After that, in the last part I managed faster laps and I'm happy with this.

"The experience of today will contribute towards my training for the 1000 machine test.

"At this moment I don't have any plans to participate in another Motorcycle race, but if I take part in another race category, such as GT300 Japanese Car Championship, I would like to do so with a Honda Machine."

Although last, Ito finished within five-seconds of Akiyoshi, who spent much of the race under pressure from Pramac Ducati stand-in Damien Cudlin - until the Australian crashed out on lap 15 of 24.

“I am very happy about my performance today," said 36-year-old Akiyoshi, who rode for LCR Honda. "Maybe I could have started a bit better but my pace was consistent till the end. I hope that Japanese fans enjoyed this racing weekend and want to thank the team for their good job”.


Tagged as: Shinichi Ito

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Liam48

October 03, 2011 12:09 PM

Well done Ito... what you've done for your country is an inspiration and you done a great job having not raced in MotoGP since 2005 on a Ducati... the best guy on the grid yesterday and the best looking bike too.



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