American Kensei Matsudaira makes Moto5 Debut in Spanish Championship
On May 28, 11-year-old Japanese-American Kensei Matsudaira made his Moto5 debut in the Spanish Cuna de Campeones championship at the DR7 Circuit in Tarancón, Spain.
In his first race weekend on the Spanish-made 250cc MIR Racing Moto5 bike, Kensei qualified 8th out of 19 riders.
In race 1, Kensei got a great start and was running with the top group until a rider directly in front of him crashed, the rider’s bike touching Kensei’s and forcing him into the gravel. He was able to rejoin the race and fought his way through the second group, making a gap and finishing in 5th position. Unfortunately after the race he received a 10 second penalty, bringing his final result in the race to P8.
“Getting my first top 5 race finish in Spain almost felt like a win,” said Kensei after the race. “I started P8 and got a good start, and was staying with the top group until the rider in front of me lost his front as I was about to make a pass and hit my tire, forcing me into the dirt. I rode it out and rejoined the race, but lost a chunk of time and got caught by the second group. I had some battles but was able to make a gap by the end of the race, finishing +12 from P1. After the race, I was penalized 10 seconds for passing on yellow – I didn’t see it and no one on my team saw it either but there were quite a few crashes so it is what it is. In the end I was classified P8 but I know I had the pace to be with the top group.”
Race 2 saw Kensei lose several positions in the first corner, which he worked throughout the race to gain back, finishing the race in P8.
Round 2 of the Cuna de Campeones Moto5 championship will be held at Zuera International Circuit in Zaragoza, Spain on June 19, 2022.
Kensei made his international racing debut in 2019 with a wildcard entry in the Cuna de Campeones MiniGP 110 category at Circuito Kartpetania in Segovia, Spain where he scored his first top 10 finish in Spain. In 2021 he made his first full-time entry into the Spanish championship in the Cuna de Campeones MiniGP 110 category with a best finish of P8, while also racing in the MotoAmerica Mini Cup by Motul championship in the US where he was crowned champion in the 110cc and 160cc categories. This year Kensei returns to the MotoAmerica Mini Cup by Motul championship to race in the 160cc and 190cc categories while also moving up to the highly competitive Moto5 category in Spain.
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
The Starting Grid
Mad Labs Minimoto
73 Moto Parts
Apex Racing Center
Live 100 Moto
Karen E. Ott Photography
Moto Survival School
California Superbike School
Toni Elias School USA