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Matsudo takes part in ‘Asian Yamaha Cup 2003' exhibition race

Matsudo takes part in ‘Asian Yamaha Cup 2003' exhibition race

Matsudo takes part in ‘Asian Yamaha Cup 2003' exhibition race

Naoki Matsudo is enjoying a particularly intense off-season period in comparison to recent years, especially after securing his saddle for the coming season. The Japanese rider confirmed last month that he will resume duties with the Yamaha Kurz team with factory backing. Signed up and relaxed for the winter break Matsudo took his chance to compete in the `Asian Yamaha Cup 2003´, an exhibition race that took place last weekend in Yakarta (Indonesia).

The first edition of the event drew 41 participants, riders from Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Matsudo joined by fellow countryman and GP racer Norick Abe, lined up as invited guests of Yamaha, and contested an exhibition race on the Friday, opting out of the more intense competition on Sunday. All of the riders took to the grid using the same equipment, four-stroke 115cc Yamahas.

"This is the first time I have visited Indonesia and I am totally surprised by the numbers and enthusiasm these people have for motorcycles in this country. I did not imagine it to be so intense," explained Matsudo, who finished ninth in the 2003 250cc World Championships. "On Friday I took part in the exhibition race and my time was four seconds slower that the leaders. The level of the competition is so high! It was a fun experience, both to ride the bike and see a new country. On Sunday there was a lot of people and it was easy to see how the Indonesian fans love their racing," he added.

250cc, 2003

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