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MotoGP should return to Suzuka

Thu, 14 Jul 2011

Suzuka was always one of the great circuits; unfortunately the Japanese track was dropped following the tragic death of Daijiro Kato in 2003 as the course was deemed too tight and dangerous for the rapid four-strokes.

Owned by Honda, Suzuka is a magical place combining arching S-bends from the start of the lap, high-speed in the middle and finished off with the technical and oft racing deciding final chicane, the location of many fantastic last lap battles.

However the death of Kato, and Honda’s major hope of a Japanese champion, placed a dark cloud over the 5.807 kilometres of tarmac.

Looking back at the circuit’s racing past, there have been some memorable races. Kevin Schwantz’s first 500GP win came at the opening round at Suzuka in 1988, his rookie season on the Pepsi Suzuki RGV500, the clip above from the 1991 running of the race and the frantic and brilliant wildcard debut of Norifumi Abe on the Mr Donut Honda, amongst the highlights.

By Robin Goodwin

See also: VIR Pulls Itself from 2011 AMA Pro Racing Schedule, Suzuki to Relocate R&D Facility to Lower Tsunami Risk Area, 2012 Honda Models Announced with Bolder, Newer Colors.