Team Suzuki Press Office – April 5.

Kazuki Watanabe raced to a double podium at the opening round of the All Japan Road Race Championship at Mobility Resort Motegi.

After finishing second in both JSB1000 qualifying sessions, Watanabe raced to second in the opening race and then took another podium with third position in the second race.

Watanabe, who was part of Endurance World Championship-winning Yoshimura SERT Motul in 2021, has joined the new Yoshimura Suzuki Ridewin team to compete in the hotly-contested Japanese series.

Team Director Yohei Kato decided to make a comeback to the All Japan Championship JSB1000 this season, and still Team Director of the EWC Yoshimura Suzuki Endurance Racing Motul team.

He put former Suzuki MotoGP, World Superbike Japanese Superbike and Suzuki test rider Yukio Kagayama in charge of managing the team. Before the race, the long-time Suzuki rider was honoured by his team and various riders in a special ceremony for his work over the years.

Yohei Kato - Team Director:

“I am glad to announce that we are back in the All Japan Championship JSB1000 in 2022 with Kazuki Watanabe. It is not a wildcard entry like the past two years and we will be racing the entire series to aim for the championship title.

“Since we shifted our main activity to EWC, Kazuki lost the chance to race and he was really wishing to make a JSB1000 return. He is such a talented rider and I have been working on how I could make his wish comes true.

“Then we decided to launch the All Japan Championship team “YOSHIMURA SUZUKI RIDEWIN” with Yukio Kagayama, who has built up a reliable relationship with us over the years, in addition to the EWC team “YOSHIMURA SERT Motul”.
I would be leaving all the responsibility of the JSB1000 race to the new Team Manager Yukio Kagayama and work hard together to help Kazuki win the title.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors for the understanding and cooperation in making this happen.”

Yukio Kagayama - Team Manager:

“I am taking a new step this year and I am proud to tell you that I am appointed as team manager of the JSB1000 team “YOSHIMURA SUZUKI RIDEWIN”.

“Since 2003, I have been working with Yoshimura as a rider and there are so many memories we made together. The time we spent together was always positive and I was able to understand the Yoshimura mind and spirit. The major change this time is my position as a rider to a Team Manager, but I will make the best use of my racing experience.

“I am sure YOSHIMURA SUZUKI RIDEWIN is possible to create the best team with Kazuki Watanabe and our first goal is to make him the JSB1000 Champion and I am really motivated with the new challenge. I would like to thank to all the valuable sponsors, partners and fans to support our new challenge!”

Kazuki Watanabe:

“I am so excited to announce that I will be back to the All Japan Championship JSB1000 in 2022.

“In the past two years, my main job was to develop the EWC machine and I concentrated on testing the GSX-R1000R and to improving the performance. Of course I was so happy when YOSHIMURA SERT Motul won the 2021 EWC title but at the same time I was feeling a kind of frustration of not being able to race by myself.

“The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000R is much more competitive than before and it is obviously possible to win the JSB1000 races, now Yoshimura and Kagayama, two of the biggest names in Suzuki join forces to form a new team.

“I feel that this is the strongest partnership I’ve ever known and it’s already like a family even if it’s a new team. I would like to take the championship title to show my gratitude to all the sponsors and fans, and to show my prestige as a racing rider!”

Championship Calendar:

2nd – 3rd Apr. 2022 Rd.1 MOBILITY RESORT MOTEGI (Tochigi)
23rd – 24th Apr. 2022 Rd.2 Suzuka Circuit (Mie)
21st – 22nd May 2022 Rd.3 AUTOPOLIS (Oita)
19th – 20th Jun. 2022 Rd.4 SPORTSLAND SUGO (Miyagi)
26th Jun. 2022 Rd.5 Tsukuba Circuit (Ibaraki) *No JSB1000 Race at this round.
27th -28th Aug. 2022 Rd.6 AUTOPOLIS (Oita)
17th -18th Sep. 2022 Rd.7 Okayama International Circuit (Okayama)
5th -6h Dec. 2022 Rd.8 Suzuka Circuit (Mie)

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