New to motogp.com?Register here

Tickets purchase
VideoPass purchase

DediKato event honours former 250cc World Champion

DediKato event honours former 250cc World Champion

The 2001 250cc World Champion and MotoGP Legend, Daijiro Kato, was honoured at a special event on Thursday evening in Porto Verde, close to the Misano circuit.

At an event attended by his wife and two young sons and numerous MotoGP riders on Thursday evening, the career of the late Daijiro Kato was celebrated by the San Carlo Honda Gresini team, ahead of the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini.

Current Gresini riders Shinya Nakano and Alex de Angelis were both present, alongside the likes of Valentino Rossi, Loris Capirossi, Marco Melandri, Toni Elias, Randy de Puniet and Sylvain Guintoli.

Nakano fondly recalled the life and times of Kato, stating, `I knew Daijiro from when we were kids, we raced together. He was one year older and he always stepped up one year earlier when moving to superior classes. We raced at the same time in the All Japan Championship and we had a good fight, he was riding for Honda and me for Yamaha, so it was a great rivalry. We pushed each other and also had good fun.´

`All the Japanese riders saw his potential and he was very inspiring, he gave us motivation. I really miss him and I believe we all miss something. It´s a bit of a strange feeling as he raced for Gresini Racing for many years and I was fighting against this team. Now I am a Gresini rider and I know he watches the races from somewhere, so I have to ride well and get good results. If not I´m sure he would be laughing at me!´

Kato´s team manager at the time of his tragic death, caused by an accident at Suzuka in a MotoGP World Championship race in 2003, Fausto Gresini, added to the tributes to the Japanese star, saying, `Misano is an important event for us, it represents a lot for us and also our workshop is very close. I think it´s a fitting way to kick off the weekend with this DediKato event, to pay homage to a rider who holds a very important place in the hearts of the members of the team.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, GP CINZANO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, San Carlo Honda Gresini

Other updates you may be interested in ›