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Apr 15, 2002

Suzuki GSV-Rs 1-2, Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR 3rd In All-Japan Season Opener

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Suzuki factory test riders Akira Ryo and Yukio Kagayama rode their prototype GSV-R four-stroke V4s to a 1-2 finish in the opening round of the eight-round All-Japan Road Race Championship at Central Park Mine Circuit, on the Southern tip of Japan's main island, Sunday, April 14. Kawasaki factory test rider Akira Yanagawa finished third in the first race outing for the Ninja ZX-RR prototype MotoGP racebike, setting the fastest lap of the race. <BR><BR>Ryo, the 2001 All-Japan Champion, won by 3.3 seconds over Kagayama, while the top three finishers were 28 seconds ahead of the field after 26 laps of the 2.082-mile circuit. <BR><BR>Prototype machines, which do not race for points or prizes in the All-Japan series, finished in the top five positions. The highest finishing Superbike was a factory Suzuki GSX-R750 ridden by Atsushi Watanabe, 35.7 seconds behind Ryo.<BR><BR>Ryo started from the pole position after turning a qualifying time of 1:23.646, and Yanagawa ran the fastest lap of the race, a 1:24.824 on lap two. The fastest lap turned by a Superbike rider during the race was a 1:26.146 by Watanabe.<BR><BR>The next round of the All-Japan series is May 12 at the tight 1.294-mile Tsukuba Circuit near Tokyo.<BR><BR>Results follow:<BR><BR>1. Akira Ryo, Suz GSV-R, Prototype, 37:04.898, 26 laps<BR>2. Yukio Kagayama, Suz GSV-R, Prototype, -3.322 seconds<BR>3. Akira Yanagawa, Kaw ZX-RR, Prototype, -3.653 seconds<BR>4. Tamaki Serizawa, Suz Tornado S-1, Prototype, -31.745 seconds<BR>5. Keiichi Kitagawa, Suz GSX-R1000, Prototype, -32.987 seconds<BR>6. Atsushi Watanabe, Suz GSX-R750, Superbike, -35.760 seconds<BR>7. Takeshi Tsujimura, Yam YZF-R7, Superbike, -37.700 seconds<BR>8. Wataru Yoshikawa, Yam YZF-R7, Superbike, -38.491 seconds<BR>9. Yuichi Takeda, Hon RC51, Superbike, -40.305 seconds<BR>10. Osamu Nishijima, Kaw ZX-7RR, Superbike, -75.731 seconds