Born February 1945. Achieving a 3rd place alongside the winner of the 125cc class Bill Ivy (Yamaha) on the podium at the Japanese round of the 1967 World Championship, Kanaya (Kawasaki) went on to secure the Japan Senior 250cc Championship in 1969. After moving to Yamaha in 1970, he clinched both the senior 90cc and the over 250cc classes in 1971. In the following year, Kanaya moved to Europe as the ace MFJ rider, and he took his first GP victory in the 250cc class in West Germany.
From 1973, Kanaya began competing in the World GP500 alongside Jarno Saarinen and Giacomo Agostini. In 1975, he took his first GP win in the Austrian GP, and finished 3rd in the ranking. Kanaya later concentrated on the development of factory machines and production racers with his talent for developing racing machines. Kanaya retired from racing in 1982 after competing in the TBC Big Road Race.
Kanaya's record performance at the Japan GP of the All Japan Championship (Suzuka Circuit) of 2:16.2 sec. lap in 1975 testified to the legend of "The World of Kanaya" as he broke the 2 min. 20 sec. barrier by a huge margin.
|Year||Class||Result & Pole position||Machine|
|1972||500cc||22nd||PP: 0||1st: 0||2nd: 0||3rd: 0||TR-3 / YZ634|
|1972||350cc||8th||PP: 0||1st: 0||2nd: 1||3rd: 1||TR-3 / YZ634|
|1972||250cc||11th||PP: 0||1st: 1||2nd: 0||3rd: 1||TD-3|
|1973||500cc||8th||PP: 0||1st: 0||2nd: 1||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W20)|
|1973||250cc||7th||PP: 0||1st: 0||2nd: 3||3rd: 0||YZR250(0W17)|
|1975||500cc||3rd||PP: 0||1st: 1||2nd: 1||3rd: 1||YZR500(0W23)|
|1975||350cc||10th||PP: 2||1st: 1||2nd: 0||3rd: 1||YZR350(0W16)|
*Results for years with a Yamaha factory team, riding a Yamaha factory machine or ranked 5th or higher riding a Yamaha production racer (World GP, World F750)