Nakagami thanks Tomizawa for strength

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

At Misano, Takaaki Nakagami picked up his fourth second place finish in as many Moto2™ races. This was by far the most emotional, however, as the Italtrans Racing Team rider had late compatriot Shoya Tomizawa firmly in mind.

From third on the grid, Nakagami led for much of the race but lost out to Tuenti HP 40’s Pol Espargaro with two laps to go. Despite this it was an especially poignant occasion, as he evoked the events of 2010 by picking up a flag and taking a moment to reflect at the side of the circuit.

“It was a good race for me,” Nakagami explained. “On some laps I was over the limit and almost crashed, but Shoya helped me not to crash. I missed out on my first victory, but this second place is really important for me here at Misano. This second place is for him: I want to give it to Shoya.”

Having spoken with Tomizawa’s mother Yukiko prior to the race, she would await him at Turn 6.

“Our plan, if I won, was for her to give me the flag,” Nakagami recalled. “Anyway, maybe she thought it was a good race, so she came to me and said, ‘Thank you very much’ and I said the same thing.

“I cried a bit when I finished the race. I am really happy to have had this flag; it is very important for me and to Shoya, so I am very thankful to him.”

Shoya Tomizawa won the very first Moto2™ race in 2010 before finishing second in Jerez. Bearing the number 48, he passed away at Misano on Sunday 5th September 2010. Compatriot Nakagami has now celebrated three pole positions in 2013 and missed out on the front row on only two occasions, plus a total of five rostrum results from Losail, Indianapolis, Brno, Silverstone and Misano.

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