Shoya Tomizawa wins inaugural Moto2 Grand Prix in commanding style at Losail

2010-04-12 09:59
The Moto2 World Championship lived up to advance billing by providing close racing in the inaugural race under the lights of the Losail International Circuit outside of Doha, Qatar, and when it was over there was a surprise atop the podium in a class that promises to be both exciting and unpredictable.

The template had been set in qualifying when the top 13 riders were covered by a second and the top five were all on different chassis. What they had in common was Honda power, which propelled the 41 riders around the floodlit track in the historic inaugural event.

When the checkered flag was waved, late on a Sunday evening, Technomag-CIP's Shoya Tomizawa rode into the history books as the first ever Moto2 race winner. Racing in only his 19th Grand Prix, the 19-year-old Japanese rider, on a Suter chassis with Honda power, took the lead on the sixth of 20 laps and held off the challenges of a determined quartet just behind.

Tomizawa gained strength as the race progressed and pulled steadily away over the final six laps to win by 4.656 seconds.

Aeroport de Castello-Ajo's Alex Debon (FTR) stole second from Forward Racing's Jules Cluzel (Suter) six turns from the end of the race. Gresini Racing's Toni Elias (Moriwaki), the pole sitter, finished fourth, with Roby Rolfo (Suter) fifth on the Italtrans S.T.R. machine.


Shoya Tomizawa, Technomag-CIP, 1st: "I can't believe this, but I'm very, very happy because I can win and I can come here. I like the four-stroke feeling better than the two-stroke, but the four-stroke is very, very heavy and engine character is very, very strong.
This is very, very nice. My team works very hard and my sponsors help a lot. This is so incredible I can stay here. This is so, so nice."

Alex Debon, Aeroport de Castello-Ajo, 2nd: "Today's race was very, very hard indeed, such a hard battle out there. I wasn't sure, no one was sure how the bike would feel at the end of the race when it was low on fuel and the tires were gone as well. We just had to wait and see what was going to happen. A few of the maneuvers were quite hard. A few risks going on there, but in the end after a really difficult winter, when the team struggled hard to get here I want to thank my friends for helping him get here and for bringing Alex Debon back into the world championship. It's just important to be on the podium in the first race."

Jules Cluzel, Forward Racing, 3rd: "Obviously I'm very happy! It's perfect to start the championship with a podium, last year I started in the same way, but afterwards I did some mistakes during the season. I think this experience helped me mature a lot. I know that the championship is long and we are 40 riders, so it's really important to make points every race and as few mistakes as possible. During the race I pushed myself to the limit, I tried to do my best to follow Tomizawa, the winner of the race, but after crashing nearly three times I realised that it would be better to finish in third position."

Shuhei Nakamoto, HRC Vice President
"This evening we witnessed the first ever Moto2 race, an important event which marks the beginning of a new era of World Championship Grand Prix Racing. Last year Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) came to an agreement with the FIM and Dorna to be the sole supplier of engines for the newly-created class, and we are proud to play our part in this exciting series. I'd like to congratulate Shoya Tomizawa and the Technomag-CIP team on today's historic win, and we can all look forward to many more closely-fought Moto2 races."

Shoya Tomizawa biography

Japanese teenager Shoya Tomizawa made history at Losail, Qatar, on April 11, becoming the first race winner in motorcycling's all-new Moto2 World Championship.

Tomizawa is just 19-years-old and is contesting only his second World Championship season. He became a full-time Grand Prix rider last year, when he rode a Honda RS250RW in the final 250 World Championship.

Tomizawa blazed a trail through the Japanese racing scene, his superb riding ability gaining him a 2009 ride with the CIP outfit, run by Frenchman Gilles Bigot, the man who guided Repsol Honda rider Alex Crivillé to the 1999 500 World Championship. Tomizawa's career has taken the traditional Japanese route of pocketbike, minibike, 125 All-Japan series, 250 All-Japan series, then 250 World Championship, but he has made an instantly successful switch to the four-stroke Moto2 series, powered by Honda.

Almost all today's professional bike racers started riding bikes at a young age, but Tomizawa started younger than most, enjoying his first tentative rides aboard a pocketbike at the age of three. Ably supported by his enthusiastic father, Tomizawa started racing a few years later and won his first successes when he was six years old. After four consecutive wins in the North Chiba and Haruna pocketbike series he was ready for medium-sized minibike racing. He was immediately successful, winning the 2001 Iwai minibike title aboard a Honda NSR50. He has stayed faithful to Honda machinery ever since.

Over the next few years Tomizawa won several titles across Japan, all the while learning his trade and readying himself for the move to a full-sized motorcycle. He made the step up to a Honda RS125 at the age of 14. Once again he was immediately competitive, taking runner-up finishes in the 2005 Sugo, Tsukuba and Motegi 125 Championships. The following year was even more impressive, Tomizawa taking second place in the 125 All-Japan Championship to claim the coveted Rookie of the Year title. He also made his GP debut as a wild card rider at Motegi, but scored no points. In 2007 he should have won the 125 title. He won four of the six rounds, taking wins at Motegi, Sugo, Okayama and Suzuka, but crashed out at Autopolis and Tsukuba, thus ending the season third overall.

During 2007 Tomizawa also made his debut in the 250 class, riding a Honda RS250R, acclimatising himself for a full-time move into the category. In 2008 he had another thrilling season, taking a close second place in the 250 All-Japan Championship, winning the final round at Okayama at the age of just 17. He also scored his first World Championship points during 2008, finishing the 250 Japanese GP in 14th position. That result gained the attention of Team CIP, which offered him a full-time GP ride in last year's 250 World Championship, riding an HRC-kitted RS250R with Burning Blood chassis. Tomizawa showed impressive speed on many occasions in his debut GP season. He scored points on nine occasions, including two tenth-place finishes (at Motegi and Valencia), to end the year 17th overall.

Away from racing Tomizawa is a keen tennis player. Since moving his summer base to Europe he has also spent time learning to speak French and improving his English.

Date of birth: December 10 1990.
Birthplace: Chiba, Japan.
Nationality: Japanese.

Team: Technomag-CIP
Racing number: 48.
Machine: Suter MMX.

Grand Prix debut: 2006. Japan — Motegi 125cc.
GP wins: 1 (Moto2)
First GP win: Qatar, 2010 (Moto2)

Career highlights -- Shoya Tomizawa

1997: North Chiba Pocketbike Champion
1998: North Chiba Pocketbike Champion
1999: Haruna Pocketbike Champion
2000: Haruna Pocketbike Champion
2001: Iwai Minibike Champion (Honda)
2002: Iwai Minibike Champion (Honda)
2003: East Japan Minibike Champion (Honda)
2004: East Japan Minibike Champion (Honda)
2005: 2nd 125 Tsukuba/Motegi/Sugo Championships (Honda)
2006: 2nd 125 All-Japan Championship (Honda)
2007: 3rd 125 All-Japan Championship (Honda)
2008: 2nd 250 All-Japan Championship (Honda)
2009: 17th 125 World Championship (Honda)

Results Moto2
Race Classification Moto2 (20 laps = 107.6 km)
Pos / Rider / Nat / Team / Motorcycle / Time/ KM/H / Gap
1 / Shoya TOMIZAWA / JPN / Technomag-CIP / SUTER / 41'11.768 / 156.713 /
2 / Alex DEBON / SPA / Aeroport de Castello - Ajo / FTR / 41'16.424 / 156.419 / 4.656
3 / Jules CLUZEL / FRA / Forward Racing / SUTER / 41'16.557 / 156.410 / 4.789
4 / Toni ELIAS / SPA / Gresini Racing Moto2 / MORIWAKI / 41'18.746 / 156.272 / 6.978
5 / Roberto ROLFO / ITA / Italtrans S.T.R. / SUTER / 41'18.946 / 156.259 / 7.178
6 / Mattia PASINI / ITA / JIR Moto2 / MOTOBI / 41'23.572 / 155.968 / 11.804
7 / Thomas LUTHI / SWI / Interwetten Moriwaki Moto2 / MORIWAKI / 41'23.629 / 155.965 / 11.861
8 / Simone CORSI / ITA / JIR Moto2 / MOTOBI / 41'24.114 / 155.934 / 12.346
9 / Gabor TALMACSI / HUN / Fimmco Speed Up / SPEED UP / 41'25.589 / 155.842 / 13.821
10 / Sergio GADEA / SPA / Tenerife 40 Pons / PONS KALEX / 41'31.957 / 155.444 / 20.189
11 / Dominique AEGERTER / SWI / Technomag-CIP / SUTER / 41'33.057 / 155.375 / 21.289
12 / Alex BALDOLINI / ITA / Caretta Technology Race Dept / I.C.P. / 41'33.128 / 155.371 / 21.360
13 / Fonsi NIETO / SPA / Holiday Gym G22 / MORIWAKI / 41'33.603 / 155.341 / 21.835
14 / Karel ABRAHAM / CZE / Cardion AB Motoracing / RSV / 41'33.741 / 155.332 / 21.973
15 / Lukas PESEK / CZE / Matteoni CP Racing / MORIWAKI / 41'38.033 / 155.066 / 26.265

Pole Position: Toni ELIAS 2'01.904 158.879 Km/h
Fastest Lap (New record) : Thomas LUTHI 2'02.537 158.058 Km/h Lap 4
Circuit Record Lap: New catagory
Circuit Best Lap: Toni ELIAS 2'01.904 158.879 Km/h 2010

Source: Honda Pro Image

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