Shoya Tomizawa made a career mark at the inaugural FIM Moto2 Grand Prix in Qatar, as the new 600cc four-stroke racebikes have replaced the traditional 250cc class. When the checkered flag was waved, Technomag-CIP’s Shoya Tomizawa rode into the history books as the first ever Moto2 race winner.
Racing in only his 19th Grand Prix, the 19-year-old Japanese rider, on a Suter chassis with Honda power, took the lead on the sixth of 20 laps and held off the challenges of a determined quartet just behind. Tomizawa gained strength as the race progressed and pulled steadily away over the final six laps to win by 4.656 seconds.
Aeroport de Castello-Ajo’s Alex Debon (FTR) stole second from Forward Racing’s Jules Cluzel (Suter) six turns from the end of the race. Gresini Racing’s injuried Toni Elias (Moriwaki), the pole sitter, finished fourth, with Roby Rolfo (Suter) fifth on the Italtrans S.T.R. machine.
Shoya Tomizawa (Technomag-CIP, 1st) says: "I can’t believe this, but I’m very, very happy because I can win and I can come here. I like the four-stroke feeling better than the two-stroke, but the four-stroke is very, very heavy and engine character is very, very strong. This is very, very nice. My team works very hard and my sponsors help a lot. This is so incredible I can stay here. This is so, so nice."
Pre-season favorite Toni Elias fell off the pace in the closing laps as he struggled with injuries but still finished fourth, while former MotoGP rider Alex De Angelis crashed out early on.
Shuhei Nakamoto (VP of HRC – Engine Supplier) says: This evening we witnessed the first ever Moto2 race, an important event which marks the beginning of a new era of World Championship Grand Prix Racing. Last year Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) came to an agreement with the FIM and Dorna to be the sole supplier of engines for the newly-created class, and we are proud to play our part in this exciting series. I’d like to congratulate Shoya Tomizawa and the Technomag-CIP team on today’s historic win, and we can all look forward to many more closely-fought Moto2 races."
Shoya Tomizawa Biography
Japanese teenager Shoya Tomizawa made history at Losail, Qatar, on April 11, becoming the first race winner in motorcycling’s all-new Moto2 World Championship.
Tomizawa is just 19-years-old and is contesting only his second World Championship season. He became a full-time Grand Prix rider last year, when he rode a Honda RS250RW in the final 250 World Championship.
Tomizawa blazed a trail through the Japanese racing scene, his superb riding ability gaining him a 2009 ride with the CIP outfit, run by Frenchman Gilles Bigot, the man who guided Repsol Honda rider Alex Crivillé to the 1999 500 World Championship. Tomizawa’s career has taken the traditional Japanese route of pocketbike, minibike, 125 All-Japan series, 250 All-Japan series, then 250 World Championship, but he has made an instantly successful switch to the four-stroke Moto2 series, powered by Honda.
Almost all today’s professional bike racers started riding bikes at a young age, but Tomizawa started younger than most, enjoying his first tentative rides aboard a pocketbike at the age of three. Ably supported by his enthusiastic father, Tomizawa started racing a few years later and won his first successes when he was six years old.
After four consecutive wins in the North Chiba and Haruna pocketbike series he was ready for medium-sized minibike racing. He was immediately successful, winning the 2001 Iwai minibike title aboard a Honda NSR50. He has stayed faithful to Honda machinery ever since.
Over the next few years Tomizawa won several titles across Japan, all the while learning his trade and readying himself for the move to a full-sized motorcycle. He made the step up to a Honda RS125 at the age of 14. Once again he was immediately competitive, taking runner-up finishes in the 2005 Sugo, Tsukuba and Motegi 125 Championships.
The following year was even more impressive, Tomizawa taking second place in the 125 All-Japan Championship to claim the coveted Rookie of the Year title. He also made his GP debut as a wild card rider at Motegi, but scored no points. In 2007 he should have won the 125 title. He won four of the six rounds, taking wins at Motegi, Sugo, Okayama and Suzuka, but crashed out at Autopolis and Tsukuba, thus ending the season third overall.
During 2007 Tomizawa also made his debut in the 250 class, riding a Honda RS250R, acclimatising himself for a full-time move into the category. In 2008 he had another thrilling season, taking a close second place in the 250 All-Japan Championship, winning the final round at Okayama at the age of just 17. He also scored his first World Championship points during 2008, finishing the 250 Japanese GP in 14th position.
That result gained the attention of Team CIP, which offered him a full-time GP ride in last year’s 250 World Championship, riding an HRC-kitted RS250R with Burning Blood chassis. Tomizawa showed impressive speed on many occasions in his debut GP season. He scored points on nine occasions, including two tenth-place finishes (at Motegi and Valencia), to end the year 17th overall.
Away from racing Tomizawa is a keen tennis player. Since moving his summer base to Europe he has also spent time learning to speak French and improving his English.
Date of Birth: December 10th, 1990
Birthplace: Chiba, Japan
Machine: Suter MMX
Grand Prix Debut: 2006 in Japan at Motegi in the 125cc class
GP Wins: 1 (Moto2 Qatar)