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Kanemoto Racing


Sunday 7 April 2002 will mark an historic date in motorcycle racing, as the
Japanese Grand Prix lifts the lid on the start of the most eagerly awaited
season in grand prix history. The Suzuka race also marks the welcome return
of Kanemoto Racing, under the direction of Erv Kanemoto with the proven
Dutch rider Jurgen van den Goorbergh at the helm of the factory Honda NSR500.

The unique figure of eight, 5.821kms circuit will inaugurate the start of
the most unpredictable season in 50 years. For the first time ever, 990cc
four-stroke machines will be allowed to compete against the all-conquering
500cc two-strokes in the 16 round championship battle.

Van den Goorbergh is set for the fray aboard his first factory machine ride
and determined to make the most of the opportunity. The 32-year-old former
250cc and 500cc Privateer Champion has been rewarded for all his hard work
and determination during an 11-year grand prix career and he is delighted
with the opportunity to join Erv Kanemoto’s new team,

“This is a great opportunity for me and it will be so good to start the
season on the Honda NSR at Suzuka, heart of the Honda organisation, on a
machine which is performing so well. The NSR is giving me more power than
I’ve ever had before I must now make sure I can use that power to our
absolute advantage.”

Kanemoto’s Technical and Management pedigree is unrivalled, having clinched
seven world championship titles and a staggering 64 grand prix victories,
in a 21-year career in the most demanding of world sporting arenas.
Kanemoto built up his reputation as a top tuner in the United States before
coming to Europe to work for former world champion Barry Sheene in 1981.
Since then he has masterminded world championship titles for; Freddie
Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Luca Cadalora and Max Biaggi and also worked with
world champions Wayne Gardner and John Kocinski.

The Team returns after a two-year racing absence during which time they
were involved in tyre development and testing for Bridgestone, a
partnership that continues into the 2002 season.

“It’s great to be starting with such a competitive package we have the
opportunity to combine the well-proven Honda NSR with the experience of
Jurgen, who has really shown his potential over recent years. We are also
very excited to be riding on Bridgestone tyres, after working on testing
programmes with them last year and seeing first-hand their commitment to
the development of racing.” Explained Team Owner and Manager Erv Kanemoto.

The combination of Kanemoto and Van den Goorbergh is set to give the new
four-strokes a tough time in what promises to be a superb opening season to
the all-new, renamed MotoGP World Championship.

Suzuka has hosted the Japanese Grand Prix every year from 1987, apart from
· Circuit reduced in length this year by 38.13m with the alterations
to the Dunlop curve. The slope on the sweeping uphill left-hander has been
moderated improving visibility into the corner. The corner has also been
shifted further to the left, allowing run off area on outside to be increased.

Length: 5.821kms
Width: 15m
Direction: Clockwise
Pole position: left
Right corners: 11
Left corners: 9
Longest straight: 1.200m
Constructed: 1961
Modified: 2002

Lap Record (old circuit): Tohru Ukawa Jpn (Honda), 2m06.805s - 166.337kmh
2001 Pole-setting lap (old circuit): Loris Capirossi ITA (West Honda Pons)
2001 500cc Race Winner (old circuit): Valentino Rossi ITA (Honda)
44m51.501s, 164.570kmh.

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