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Daijiro Katoh: on the fast track to family life

Daijiro Katoh: on the fast track to family life

Honda´s latest gem Daijiro Katoh has an unflappable air about him. Quiet, introverted, calm and collected. However, despite looking like a Japanese superhero straight from the pages of a ´Manga´ comic book, Katoh is a man with feelings – a man more than familiar with the ´real world´.

Katoh is married to Makiko, who recently gave birth to their first child, Ikko. In Suzuka he blew away his rivals in the 250cc class in unforgiving fashion, with a devastating display of determined racing. Hours later he was eating pizza with his team, and soon sprung the biggest surprise of the day. Just before dessert, the pint-sized pilot cradled his offspring in his arms and fed him his bottle in front of the disbelieving eyes of his mechanics.

MotoGP 2001´s early leader in the 250cc class has a family life that very few people were aware of up until now. Katoh has always been a popular character in the paddock, as much for his racing talents as for his mid-afternoon naps -taken with blissful disregard for who might snap him - whilst the fans love to see him passing time on his Playstation.

As well as the 250 World Championship title, Katoh has a pending project for 2001. He only speaks Japanese at the moment and after one year in an Italian team he has just about picked up ´Ciao, ciao´. His new Spanish team-mate Emilio Alzamora is already teaching him the basics in Castillian vocabulary, whilst with the majority of MotoGP press conferences and television interviews in English he is in for a very busy year of learning.

250cc, 2001, Grand Prix of Japan, RAC

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