American Kensei Matsudaira Masters Mixed Conditions to Take Podium in Valencia, Spain for ESBK Moto4 Championship Round 3
On Saturday [May 13], 12-year-old American Kensei Matsudaira scored a second-place finish at Circuit Ricardo Tormo in Valencia, Spain, his first official podium in the RFME ESBK (Campeonato de España de Superbike) Moto4 Championship.
Starting from 10th on the grid, Kensei worked his way forward as rain started falling on the second lap. Even as the rain grew stronger and other riders crashed out, by lap five Kensei had moved into third position and began closing in on the lead rider. By lap eight, Kensei had moved into second position and closed the gap to the top from over six seconds to just two seconds, but the race was red-flagged after the eighth lap due to worsening weather conditions and the race was called, securing Kensei’s second place finish in the race.
Sunday saw clear skies and for Race Two, Kensei started from second on the grid. During the opening two laps he was pushed down the order to 10th position, losing touch with the top group but from there he mounted a strong comeback, breaking free from the second group in the final two laps and catching the top group, setting the fastest Moto4 lap time of the entire weekend and crossing the finish line in seventh, just 0.5 seconds behind the winner.
“I’m super happy to get my first official podium in the ESBK Moto4 championship, and to do it at me and my team’s home race was extra special,” Kensei said, after the first race. After the race on Sunday he added, “It was a bittersweet end to my race weekend in Valencia. I’m glad I was able to have a strong pace finally, but I can’t be happy with the result knowing I could have fought at the very front if I had managed the first laps better. Learning and improving every step of the way though, I will return stronger at the next round in Estoril!”
Round 4 of the RFME ESBK championship will be held at Circuito Estoril in Portugal on June 10-11, 2023.
Kensei and the Evike.com Nox#27 Racing Team would like to thank all of Kensei’s sponsors for their support this year: Evike.com, Evike Europe, HJC Helmets, Dave Designs, Almassera El Teular, OrangeCat Racing, Iconic Motorbikes, Bison Track, Moto Tecnica, Karen E. Ott Photography, BSP Racing, American Racing Team & Academy, The Starting Grid, TJ Corse, VNM Sport, NLAB Studio, California Superbike School, MadLabs Minimoto, Hans King, 73 Moto Parts, D.I.D Chain, Galfer USA, Bickle Racing, Yoshimura R&D, Vortex Racing, Suspension Matters, Moto Survival School, Live 100 Moto, TechSpec, Landers Racing, Boyko Racing, Mini Moto Alliance.