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Ukawa looking to repeat second place championship finish for Japan

Ukawa looking to repeat second place championship finish for Japan

Ukawa looking to repeat second place championship finish for Japan

The Gran Premio Marlboro de la Comunitat Valenciana next weekend will see a battle for second place in the MotoGP World Championship between Tohru Ukawa and Max Biaggi, with Ukawa looking to equal his country´s best ever finish in the series. The Japanese rider trails the Italian by just one point in the provisional standings with one round remaining.

If Ukawa finishes ahead of Biaggi he would be only the second Japanese rider to finish runner-up in the top class, repeating the feat of Tady Okada in 1997, a golden year for Japanese motorcycling as Nobuatsu Aoki finished third in the series whilst his brother Takuma was fifth. Apart from 1997, Japanese riders have taken top five overall finishes on seven other occasions. Kanaya and Okada were third in 1975 and 1999 respectively, whilst Katayama (1978 and 1983), Itoh (1995), Abe (1996) and Nakano (2001) have all taken fifth. So far Japan has ten victories in the elite class - four by Okada, three by Abe and one each by Kanaya, Katayama and Ukawa.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2002

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