American Kensei Matsudaira Takes First Podium in Moto5 Category in Spanish Championship
June 18-19, 2022
In only his second race in the category, 11-year-old Japanese-American Kensei Matsudaira took his first podium finish in the Spanish Cuna de Campeones Moto5 championship at the Zuera International Circuit, in Zaragoza, Spain.
The qualifying sessions were held on Saturday, with Kensei achieving his best qualifying result in Spain of 5th out of 19 riders, +0.6s from pole position.
In Race One, Kensei got a great start from the second row and by the exit of the second corner was leading the race. Kensei led the race for more than half of the race while battling for position with the top group of four riders. On the eighth, lap Kensei crashed in Turn Two while side by side with two other riders, leaving him unable to rejoin the race.
Repairs were made to the bike and Kensei was able to get another great start in Race Two, where he was able to move up into second position and from there, fought with the same top group of four riders until finally taking the checkered flag in third place, seven seconds behind the race winner, the best finish of Kensei’s Spanish racing career.
“Honestly, I felt that Race One was better because I felt so good on the bike and had so much confidence with it, leading the race and fighting for the win,” Kensei said, after the races. “The DNF result was obviously super disappointing, but it showed everyone including myself that I can fight to win here. In the second race I didn’t quite have the same speed and confidence. In the end I couldn’t keep up with the race winner, but I was still able to fight at the top and to finally get a podium here in Spain feels so good. I want to say a big thank you to my team, JR and Juan who believed in me from when I first started in Spain and really helped me to get here today.”
Kensei now returns to the US to race at Round Two of the MotoAmerica Mini Cup by Motul championship, to be held June 24-25 at the Ridge Motorsports Park, in Shelton, Washington. He currently leads the 160 category championship and sits second in the 190 championship.
Round 3 of the Cuna de Campeones Moto 5 championship will be held at Kotarr Circuit in Burgos, Spain on July 17, 2022.
Kensei would like to thank all of his sponsors for their support to help him race both at home and abroad:
American Racing Team & Academy, Fresh N Lean, Evike.com, Shoei Helmets, Dave Designs, AGV Sport, VNM Sport, D.I.D Chain, Galfer USA, Yoshimura R&D, Suspension Matters, TechSpec, The Starting Grid, Moto Tecnica, Mad Labs Minimoto, 73 Moto Parts, Bickle Racing, Vortex Racing, Landers Racing, Boyko Racing, Apex Racing Center, Live 100 Moto, DRT Racing, Karen E. Ott Photography, Hans King, Moto Survival School, California Superbike School, and Toni Elias School USA.