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Jun 14, 2019

​MotoAmerica: Japanese Racer Karen Ogura To Make Junior Cup Debut At Utah Motorsports Campus

Karen Ogura with her Veloce Racing Yamaha YZF-R3, which has been fitted with the approved GYR-T SSP300 engine kit, and her custom-painted Arai helmet, which is similar in design to her brother Ai Ogura's Arai. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Japanese racer Karen Ogura will make her MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing debut this coming weekend at Utah Motorsports Campus (UMC). Ogura, a 20-year-old from Tokyo, will be competing in the Liqui Moly Junior Cup on a Veloce Racing Yamaha YZF-R3 fielded by long-time Formula USA/ASRA racer Nobi Iso.

“I was looking for a rider,” Iso told Roadracingworld.com Friday at UMC. “Through my contacts in Japan she found out about it, and one day in February I got an email from her saying, ‘I would like to race in America.’ Then we started talking, and here we are.”

According to Iso, Ogura has been road racing since she started riding pocketbikes at age three. In 2018, Ogura rode a Honda CBR250R to victory during Round Four of the All-Japan SP250 National Championship and finished fifth in the final Championship point standings. Ogura also races 600cc machines annually in the Suzuka 4-Hours, a feeder event for the prestigious Suzuka 8-Hours.

“She knows how to ride, and she knows how to win,” said Iso.

When asked about her goals for the weekend, Ogura, speaking with Iso serving as a translator, said, “I want to win or be very close to winning, but everything is new. It is my first time racing in America, my first time racing at this track, my first time racing this motorcycle. But I will do my best.”

And if the name Ogura sounds familiar, it should. Ogura’s 18-year-old younger brother Ai has won Asia Talent Cup, Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, and FIM/CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship races and is currently in his first full season racing in the FIM Moto3 World Championship.

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