A Life with Yamaha

Mr. Kubo Became an Undefeated Champion with the YZF-R25

Mr. Naoaki Kubo (Mie Prefecture)

Encouraged by his race-loving father, Mr. Naoaki Kubo started riding a pocket bike at the age of 5 and made his debut in racing at the age of 6. Since then, he has been racing for 14 years and now he is participating in the 2017 MFJ Cup JP250 Championships as a rider of the YZF-R25 from the Titanium Power Racing team.

Tactics Is the Real Thrill of Racing

I started riding a motorcycle at 5 and made my debut in racing at 6. I don’t really remember anything about those days, but I just remember it was fun. My father, who used to race at Suzuka Circuit, looks happy with me continuing to race. My machine number is 19, which is the same number worn by Freddie Spencer, my father’s favorite rider. The best part of racing comes down to a “battle” after all. When chasing other riders, you have to find their unguarded moment and weaknesses. When being chased by other riders, on the other hand, you have to keep your weaknesses hidden and block other riders’ tactics. Racing is a psychological game, but you must have an ability to overtake or pull away from other riders when you think “It’s now!” So, I enjoy both physical and mental strategies including the machine’s condition. Nothing beats the happy moment when I stand on the center of the podium after doing my best!

My Weapons Are Speed and Mechanics

I started to take a serious attitude to racing when I got my YZF-R25. I joined the Titanium Power Racing team in the latter half of the 2015 season. At this point, I changed my machine to the YZF-R25, which was so fast in the first run that my eyes couldn’t follow. But this high-performance machine YZF-R25 gave me such motivation that I wanted to be faster and stronger. On top of that, meeting with knowledgeable experienced team mechanics changed me significantly. They give me proper advice and clues that I couldn’t even come up with. The good thing about continuing racing is that I gained a sense of responsibility and mental strength. I think I relied on my father heavily until I joined this team. But after joining this team and receiving support, I came to believe that I have to repay them with good results. Last season, I won all my races and became the champion of the Suzuka Sunday Road Race JP250, but I was under incredible pressure during the final race. Thanks to this experience, I gained more confidence and mental toughness.

My Goal Is to be an Asian Champion

While taking part in this Asia Road Racing Championship as a wild card, I was keenly aware that Asian riders are very strong and have high levels of riding skills. I heard that quite a few riders live on racing. They showed me why they are so strong. But I’m also as serious about racing as they are. I’m always trying to find time for training and maintenance, and always thinking about racing. My first goal is to win the Asia Road Racing Championship. Then, someday, I want to race in front of huge crowds of spectators in a big race like the Suzuka 8 Hours not just for my own dream, but also for my father’s dream, who was enthusiastic about racing.


Powered by a water-cooled two-cylinder 249 cm3 inline engine, the YZF-R25 ABS and YZF-R25 not only embody their high-level riding performance and style, but also provide easy handling in normal use. As a follow-up to the R series, these models are demonstrating their high performance in domestic and international races.

A Message from a Yamaha Staff Member
I want to deliver satisfaction and hear the message, “I’m happy with Yamaha.”

Shuji Manabe MS Marketing Group, Motor Sports Strategy Division, Technology Center

I’m in charge of “racing service,” which provides assistance to riders and team members who are participating in races with our motorcycles including the YZF-R25, so that they can concentrate on their racing. We offer various types of support such as giving advice on settings and riding skills, and leasing motorcycle parts. I often drop in at circuit pits to see if they are having any trouble, so I'm happy if they get good results. I also race as a member of IRF*, so it would be really great if I could pass my know-how that I have acquired on to next-generation riders.

* Iwata Racing Family is a company racing team that is participating in road races such as the Suzuka 8 Hours.