Rizla Suzuki rider Yukio Kagayama has ridden a motorcycle for the first time since the accident that cut his 2003 BSB season short at Cadwell Park last August - the Japanese starting on one wheel before graduating to two!

At Suzuki's own Ryoyo test track in Japan, Yuki was given a factory GSX-R1000 racer and seconds after slinging his leg over the bike, pulled a monster wheelie out of the pitlane before settling onto two-wheels and steady lap times.

Kagayama has been recovering from a broken pelvis sustained at Cadwell Park in August 2003 and while he has been out of hospital since Christmas, this was the first time he had ridden a motorcycle and a vital step as he fights to be fully fit for the first race of the BSB season at Silverstone on March 28th.

His speed is already returning and the popular Japanese managed a lap time close to his best ever, despite the six-month lay-off. Yuki will be riding regularly during February, with his support crew in Japan encouraging him to build his race fitness before pushing him to find the limits of his bike.

Kagayama is due to join Rizla Suzuki for pre-season testing at Valencia in Spain early in March before returning to the UK for the Donington official test day on March 14th.

"I enjoyed that very much," smiled Yuki after his ride. "But my fitness is very poor. I expected that and riding all day long was difficult and tiring, but I kept going because my mind is strong and wants to race.

"I will be training now to get fit for racing. I am lucky that I have seven weeks before the racing starts, so I have time to improve my body condition. I am looking forward to riding with John-san to test my speed and try the 2004 Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. Thank you again to my English and Japanese fans for supporting me during my recovery."

"It is great news that Yuki is riding again and now it is his and our priority to get him fit and back up to speed in time for the start of the season," added team manager Paul Denning. "He is undergoing intensive physical training and we have absolute faith in his ability and desire to race again. He's already enjoying himself on a bike and that's a great sign."

 

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