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Matsudo opts for air travel after motorhome shock

Matsudo opts for air travel after motorhome shock

Matsudo opts for air travel after motorhome shock

Naoki Matsudo takes to the air this weekend for the long haul flight to South Africa knowing that he will be getting rather familiar with aeroplane food during the 2004 season. The veteran Japanese rider has decided to sell his motorhome and lodge in hotels at every race this year after it was broken into just outside Barcelona last week.

"I was speechless," said Matsudo of the experience. "I called the guys up at the car park to arrange to collect my motorhome before the test at Barcelona and they told me there was a problem, although they wouldn't say what. I realised as soon as I saw it – the door had been forced open and they had taken everything – my leathers, helmet, clothes, scooter, bed… even my toothbrush! The only thing they left was Japanese food – they musn't have liked it!"

Matsudo revealed that, despite the material loss, it was the disappointment at the theft of a sentimental item that has made him decide to sell the motorhome. "The most important thing that was stolen was a shirt that Tetsuya Harada gave me after his final race. After I saw that was gone I just didn't want the motorhome anymore – so I'll travel to the races by aeroplane or car and sleep in hotels."

Despite his bad luck, Matsudo is now looking forward to making up for it on the track. "It is the first time in three years that I've been able to test before the start of the new season and this year I have two bikes instead of one so I am optimistic and excited," he said. "One of the bikes has new parts which have improved the performance of the engine and overall I am happy with the bike. We still have some work to do on it but right now I can't wait for the new season to start."

250cc, 2004

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