Shinichi Ito happy to return to Grand Prix racing

MotoGP Practice Report | GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

MotoGP Round 14 : Motegi circuit, 30 September-2 October

Date : 30/09/2011
Weather : Dry
Temperature : Air: 26 degrees, Ground: 41 degrees
Humidity : 58%

Today marked one of the most special racing weekends for Shinichi Ito at Motegi, when he re-joined the MotoGP riders for the Japanese GP.

Riding for Team HRC, Ito made good progression throughout the day, improving his afternoon lap time by almost two seconds from the morning session to finish in eighteenth position, only two tenths off Kosuke Akiyoshi, the other HRC test rider abroad the LCR Honda.

Ito returned to participate in a Grand Prix four years after retiring from racing at the same track where he took part in his final race in 2007. With his return he hopes to bring encouragement to those in the East Japan region, who like him, suffered from the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami on March 11th 2011.

SHINICHI ITO - 18th 1'49.673
"Today I returned to the MotoGP Paddock after four years away, it's a very special atmosphere that I like very much. I would like to thank everyone at Honda and I'm very happy to work again with my team manager Taddy, all the mechanics who I have known for a long time and especially HRC President, Suzuki san and HRC Executive Vice-President, Nakamoto san. I really appreciate that they came into the box to give me their comment, it meant a lot to me. After two sessions I'm more confident with 800 machine and I get a better feeling lap by lap but at this moment my lap time on the MotoGP machine is slower than my best lap time with a Superbike. Today I made almost two second progress from FP1 to FP2, but tomorrow I will try to make another step".

Practice Results

1 Dani Pedrosa 1'46.790 SPA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
2 Casey Stoner 1'46.844 AUS HONDA Repsol Honda Team
3 Andrea Dovizioso 1'46.952 ITA HONDA Repsol Honda Team
4 Marco Simoncelli 1'47.188 ITA HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
5 Jorge Lorenzo 1'47.310 SPA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
6 Nicky Hayden 1'47.381 USA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
7 Hiroshi Aoyama 1'47.785 JPN HONDA San Carlo Honda Gresini
8 Valentino Rossi 1'47.975 ITA DUCATI Ducati Marlboro Team
9 Hector Barbera 1'48.055 SPA DUCATI Paginas Amarillas Aspar
10 Colin Edwards 1'48.076 USA YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
11 Alvaro Bautista 1'48.097 SPA SUZUKI Rizla Suzuki MotoGP
12 Randy De Puniet 1'48.374 FRA DUCATI Pramac Racing
13 Cal Crutchlow 1'48.379 GBR YAMAHA Monster Yamaha Tech 3
14 Ben Spies 1'48.567 USA YAMAHA Yamaha Factory Racing Team
15 Toni Elias 1'48.743 SPA HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
16 Karel Abraham 1'49.305 CZE DUCATI Cardion AB Motoracing
17 Kousuke Akiyoshi 1'49.464 JPN HONDA LCR Honda MotoGP
18 Shinichi Ito 1'49.673 JPN HONDA Team HRC
19 Damian Cudlin 1'51.349 GBR DUCATI Pramac Racing

Circuit information

First race 1999
GPs held 12
Laps 24
Race distance 115.224km / 71.592miles
Track length 4.801km / 2.983miles
Track width 12-15m
Longest straight 0.762km / 0.473miles
Corners 14 (8 right, 6 left)
Pole position Left

120-1 Hiyama, Motegi-machi,
Haga-gun, Tochigi Pref. 321-3597, Japan

T: +81-285-64-0001
F: +81-285-64-0009

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Circuit records

Pole position 1m45.543s (163.758Km/h) Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha, 2008)
Race lap 1m47.091s (161.391Km/h) Casey Stoner (Ducati, 2008)
Race time 43m09.599s (160.181km/h) Valentino Rossi (Yamaha, 2008)
MotoGP Wins 3 (Loris Capirossi 2005-07)
2010 Winner Casey Stoner (Ducati)