New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

Opening Grand Prix of the season officially presented in Japan

Opening Grand Prix of the season officially presented in Japan

Opening Grand Prix of the season officially presented in Japan

The presentation of the Grand Prix of Japan, the opening race of the MotoGP World Championship, has been made in a Tokyo hotel. Riders Norick Abe, Daijiro Katoh and Tohru Ukawa were joined by the President of Suzuka Circuit and representatives from Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, as the world's press sharpened their pencils ahead of what will be a landmark season in the 53 year history of the sport.

Renovation works which have recently been completed at the circuit were described at the presentation, where much discussion was also focused around the new 4 stroke motorcycles. The three main stars of the day were the respective factories' revolutionary new machines, which took centre stage.

Officials from Suzuka, who this year celebrate the venue's 40th anniversary, confirmed the growing interest in the series with high levels of ticket sales already registered. An unusual first was also revealed, with an announcement that there will be an opening ceremony for the 2002 MotoGP World Championship on the 4th April.

Meanwhile the riders were able to talk about their preseason testing schedules so far. 'I think that I can win the occasional race this year' said Ukawa. His Honda team-mate and current 250cc World Champion Daijiro Katoh accepted that the RC211V will have an advantage but also claimed that: 'The NSR will continue to put up a fight, I'm sure of that.' Norick Abe, who is yet to find out who will be his new colleague in Team D'Antin, said: 'I will be going for the win in Suzuka. It is a race that I am always very motivated for.'

Tags:
500cc, 2001

Other updates you may be interested in ›