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Yuki Takahashi: A Wild card with intentions of victory

Yuki Takahashi: A Wild card with intentions of victory

Yuki Takahashi: A Wild card with intentions of victory

Tradition usually dictates that Japanese Wild card riders make a name for themselves in the Grand Prixs taking place at their local circuits; names like Tohru Ukawa, Shinya Nakano, Naoki Natsudo, Osamu Miyazaki and recently Hiroshi Aoyama and Yuki Takahashi are following the trend in fine style. Not to mention the most impressive ‘wild-card' in the last few years the late Daijiro Kato, who took two consecutive victories in 1997 and 1998 at Suzuka. The speed and knowledge of the riders at local venues is by no means a new phenomenon but the Japanese always seem to be stronger on home turf and this weekend will be once more be aiming to mark their territory.

Yuki Takahashi has shone before on native soil, taking third place in two outings on the World Championship stage. Last year, in his 250cc GP debut, he notched a podium behind Toni Elías and Marco Melandri, and repeated the feat this year, in the first race of the season at Suzuka.

The Japanese rider is now one of the new leading riders in his country. He currently occupies fourth place in the national 250cc series and is clear about his ambitions prior to the GP this weekend: "For me this Grand Prix is the third opportunity for success and I hope it will be a good one. My objective is to win, nothing more," remarked the assured 19 year old. `Since I confirmed my participation, I have talked and worked constantly with my team, with whom I race the Japanese Championships. I think I have a small chance, because I am very familiar with this circuit."

`I am a little bit worried about an injury that I sustained while practicing last month. Although, three weeks ago I took part in the sixth round of the Japanese series and scored third position, so I am quietly confident that I will be able to push and ride normally."

"With regards to the race I will be looking to take my chance in the final few laps. Last year I could not reach first place, so this time I want to be very near the front together with the usual Aprilia riders like Elías, De Puniet and Poggiali and ready to seize the GP. I really want to assert my presence at this race."

250cc, 2003, Yuki Takahashi

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