I put out the call to get some more information about this really cool Japanese motorcycle racing series, and TokyoLunch delivered with a whole bunch of excellent information.
Here’s what he came up with to school us:
This is called Autorace. Very popular in Japan. One big reason is that you can gamble on it, and for the riders there is more money there than the more traditional series.
I used to take minibike lessons from Shuhei Aoyama (have posted this up here before) who is the younger brother of Hiroshi Aoyama. He did that after a brief stint in WSBK and not securing a ride with the moto2 teams or WSBK. Also joining him was Hiroomi Iwata who helped out on the minibike schools (all japan champion on 125s).
Kind of like a sumo stable, you go off for months cut off from the world and start from the bottom rung and work your way up. From what I understand Shuhei left the “stable” and did extremely well….
Other random trivia, from the original lineup of the Japan supergroup SMAP, Katsuyuki Mori left the group ages ago to pursue Autorace…. he was at the Motegi motoGP last year and made an appearance in the daijiro/norick stands. i didn’t know who he was at the time, but he was popular for taking pics with….
Seems like these races are all about the gambling, and they take place at half a dozen tracks across Japan.
Auto Race motorcycles are unique in that they’re small and light in weight and chopped down to the bare minimum.
- There are no brakes
- The left side handle bar is set higher than the right for handling
- There are no gauges
- The engines are set in diamond-shaped frames
- All the bikes have unique custom-made suspension systems
- Knee guards
- Each bike has a two-speed transmission
- Triangular tires
Thanks for all the info and we’ll keep tabs on this awesome hybrid racing.