Suzuki Alstare Brux team manager Francis Batta has described Yukio Kagayama as a 'special guy' after he defied a broken ankle to post two points finishes at Miller Motorsports Park.
Kagayama kicked off his weekend in style with the quickest time in free practice, but a crash later in the day left him with requiring a hospital visit, where doctors told him he could expect a six month recovery period.
Nonetheless, despite suggestions by the team not to race this weekend, Kagayama soldiered on to qualify 13th and manage a pair of 12th place results, despite the considerable discomfort.
“I am very sore and very tired after these races today. I had pain-killing injections in my right foot and that allowed me to race. Once I was on the bike, the pain was not so great, but what did hurt was my shoulder, back and thigh. Now I want a good, long rest!
“In race one, I began to get a better feeling with the bike after about seven or eight laps and the tyre was working OK as well. It was difficult changing direction, because of my right foot, and going through the chicanes was also a bit of a problem, but I wanted to finish the race and so kept going.
“I had some more injections before the start of the second race, but I didn't make such a good start and was 17th at the end of the first lap. My bike also had some chattering from the rear end and I couldn't push hard. It was very tough and physical today, but I'm happy I managed to finish both races today.”
With the Suzuki outfit already reeling from Max Neukirchner's lengthy absence, following his broken leg, team manager Batta was full of praise for Kagayama's perseverance.
“Yukio is a special guy and I am very impressed with his courage and determination this weekend. Nobody put him under any pressure to get on the bike at all, in fact we tried to persuade him not to race! None of us thought he would actually race today, but he proved us all wrong and did a fantastic job in very difficult circumstances.”