Yamaha press releases on our motor sports racing activities
AMA Motocross Competitor Yusuke Watanabe to Return to All Japan Motocross Championship at MFJGP
September 10, 2018
September 10, 2018—Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is proud to announce that Yusuke Watanabe, who this season contested the AMA 250cc Motocross Championship in the United States, will race at Round 9 (MFJGP) of the All Japan Motocross Championship to be held at Sportsland SUGO in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan on October 28, 2018. He will ride for the 3D Racing team aboard a YZ250F in the IA2 class.
Watanabe’s goal for the event will be to show the progress he has made by racing in the AMA, to give motivation to the young generation of riders in the All Japan championships and to help invigorate motocross in Japan overall.
Watanabe previously raced for the Yamaha Factory Racing Team on a YZ250FM in 2017, when he won the All Japan Motocross IA2 class championship title. For 2018 he moved to the United States and began his competitive challenge in the AMA under the tutelage of advisor Doug Dubach as part of the 3D Racing team.
In the 12-round season that was held between May 19 and August 25, Watanabe was forced to sit out rounds five through seven due to injury, and had to retire from the final round with a machine issue. Also, in Round 8 he was able to make it through qualifying. Although he did not manage to finish inside the top 20 to pick up any points during the season, he did place 21st in Moto 1 of Round 8, and again in Moto 1 of Round 10, illustrating his progress over the course of the season.
“I finished this season with some regrets, because I got injured midway through and couldn’t pick up any points. But I do feel like I made progress and learned a lot thanks to Doug and the team’s advice, and being able to see the world’s fastest riders up close. At the MFJGP I plan to give a performance that lives up to what’s expected of me by Japanese fans and those who have supported me both in Japan and America. I want to show everything I’ve learned during my time in America, and basically for everyone attending to be able to enjoy some good racing. I hope everyone is looking forward to it!”
For reference: Yusuke Watanabe, Full Throttle on American Dirt