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Shinichi Ito happy to return to Grand Prix racing

Shinichi Ito happy to return to Grand Prix racing

Today marked one of the most special racing weekends for Shinichi Ito at Motegi, when he rejoined the MotoGP riders for the Japanese GP.

Riding for Team HRC, Ito made good progression throughout the day, improving his afternoon lap time by almost two seconds from the morning session to finish in eighteenth position, only two tenths off Kosuoke Akiyoshi, the other HRC test rider abroad the LCR Honda.

Ito returned to participate in a Grand Prix four years after retiring from racing at the same track where he took part in his final race in 2007. With his return he hopes to bring encouragement to those in the East Japan region, who like him, suffered from the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th 2011.

Shinichi Ito:
"Today I returned to the MotoGP Paddock after four years away, it's a very special atmosphere that I like very much. I would like to thank everyone at Honda and I'm very happy to work again with my team manager Taddy, all the mechanics who I have known for a long time and especially HRC President, Suzuki san and HRC Executive Vice-President, Nakamoto san. I really appreciate that they came into the box to give me their comment, it meant a lot to me. After two sessions I'm more confident with 800 machine and I get a better feeling lap by lap but at this moment my lap time on the MotoGP machine is slower than my best lap time with a Superbike. Today I made almost two second progress from FP1 to FP2, but tomorrow I will try to make another step."

MotoGP, 2011, GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Honda Racing Team

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