Yuta Okaya’s challenge to the FIM Superbike World Championship comes to the season finale at Losail International Circuit for the Motul Qatar Round. It is the final round for the World Supersport 300 class.
In yesterday’s Superpole, Okaya was not able to continue the rhythm he had built up, up until free practice 3 and resulted 26th on the grid. However, in the warmup session today, the feeling of the bike was good and placed 16th with a time of 2’16.569 which is very close to his best time in the weekend. Okaya and the team make their final adjustments towards the race.
Then at 18:15 at night, with 32℃ air temperature and 36℃ track temperature, the 10 lap race had begun. Okaya was only concentrating to gain as much positions as possible in the first two laps and overtook riders from the beginning and a rider in front of him had made a crash at turn 4. The crash happened right in front of Okaya and could not move out of the way, eventually he crashed out of the race. It was a very unfortunate situation for Okaya and was forced to retire and ended the season in a very disappointing way.
“I am very frustrated and disappointed since I could not even finish a lap. Also, I feel very sorry for everyone who is supporting me. I will take this result seriously and try not make this type of mistake happen ever again.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has supported me to be able to race in this series.
I, Yuta Okaya will continue to fight.
Please look forward for my race as there will be many to come. Thank you!”
Result / WorldSBK web site / Race
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The final round of FIM Superbike World Championship Round 13 Motul Qatar Round began at the Losail International Circuit. Yuta Okaya had made his world debut this year with DS Junior Team and this round will be his final race of the season.
The Qatar Round is different from other races held this year due to a night race. Therefore, FP1 and FP2 are held from Thursday night and the Superpole on Friday and finally the race on Saturday evening.
The Losail International Circuit is surrounded with desert and at times is becomes a slippery track condition. With that said, it will be Okaya’s first ever night race experience. In FP1 getting use to the track Okaya came 13th with a time of 2’18.159 and improved to 2’17.573 in FP2. In FP3 he had come 1.486 off the leader and placed 20th with a time of 2’16.553.
Then came the Superpole for Okaya and from the beginning he puts out a time of 2’16.764 however, getting caught in the middle of the traffic, he struggles to get a clear lap. Then he switched his mind to use the slip stream and tried to improve on lap times but also struggled. When he finally had a clear lap, unfortunately, he ends up crashing at turn 10. Okaya was not able to get back out to the track and ends his final qualifying of the season in 26th position.
“This was my first Qatar round and it was a very difficult session. I couldn’t bring up the pace that I had built up until FP3 and I am very disappointed for that. I will be starting from 26th position tomorrow and I would like to concentrate on the beginning of the race and build my strategies for tomorrow.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who has been supporting me throughout the year. Also please look forward for my race tomorrow. Thank you.”
Result / WorldSBK web site / SUPERPOLE Group A
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The race day for Round 11 of the FIM Superbike World Championship the Pirelli French Round took place at Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Unlike yesterday and the day before the weather condition turned out to be a perfect day for racing. The temperature was a little low with 16℃ nevertheless, it surely is a better condition than the days before. On yesterday's Superpole, Yuta Okaya took 10th in Group A and came 20th overall. Okaya will do his best to fight to the podium contention. The words speak for itself from Okaya that he had his best feeling all year this weekend and to prove the point, he placed 14th overall and just 1.354 seconds off the leader's time. This was the closest gap he gained with the leaders and of course a contention to be in the podium spot.
The race started at 15:15 in the afternoon and all 36 riders swarm into the first corner. Okaya tried to improve the pace he had up until the warmup run this morning however, he has struggled to get out of the mid pack in the group. With that said, if Okaya had a pace from this morning he was well in contention to be in the top however, it was a patient race for him and struggled hard to get out of the group. Okaya did his best to gain a position however, as a result, it was a disappointing 22nd finish to end the weekend.
It was a disappointing race for sure. If I had the pace from this morning, I was sure that I can be fighting with the leaders however, I could not get out from the mid pack group throughout the race and struggled very hard. Although it was a disappointing 22nd finish, I had the best feeling with the bike out of all the rounds this year. The World Supersport 300 class will miss Argentina and therefore Qatar will be our next and final round and I will do my very best to fight and never give up.
Result / WorldSBK web site / Race
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The FIM Superbike World Championship Round 11 Pirelli French Round took place at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours. Yuta Okaya will compete from Group A this weekend.
Unfortunately, the weather condition was not in a perfect condition from the start of the weekend. The condition in the track was also very unstable however, Okaya finds the way of the Magny-Cours circuit. In FP1 he placed 9th in Group A with a time of 2’02.584. In FP2 the track condition got worse due to heavy rain and Okaya struggled to bring his pace and ends the session in 21st with a time of 2’19.234 ending day 1.
In day 2, despite the continuous unstableness in the weather condition, FP3 started in dry session. In this session Okaya made a big progress and improved on his lap time every lap. Ultimately, he placed 5th in the group with a time of 1’56.177 being his best time of the weekend. However, the track condition became wet again right after the Group A session and Group B riders were forced out in the track in a wet weather condition. By the time of Superpole for Group A, the rain had gone, and the sun was starting to show however, the session started out in a wet condition. Okaya keeping his good momentum was improving his lap time by a second every lap due to the improvement of the track condition. With 2 minutes left in the session the track condition had recovered enough to have a good lap and Okaya gave his best shot. As a result, his final attack lap was the best lap with a time of 2’10.527 and placed 10th in Group A, 20th overall. Okaya is determined for tomorrow’s race and hope to be in a good track condition.
This weekend, the dry setup had become very well, and I think this is going to be the best weekend I will have this season so far. I am that confident in the dry. All the hard work is starting to show as a result. If I can be calm and make no mistake, I have the determination to be in the top group and finally be able to race at the level I have seemed for and be fighting for the podium. I will try to be calm and aim for the top positions for tomorrow’s race.
Thank you very much and please look forward for my race tomorrow.
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Round 10 of the FIM Superbike World Championship the “Acerbis Portuguese Round” took place at Autódromo Internacional do Algarve.
Yuta Okaya has been training hard and to find the right direction of the setting, he has been trying to understand the bike for this race in the last 2 months from the previous race.
Race week is blessed with fine weather. It is a bit chilly in the morning and evening however, the free practice started at daytime while the sun was shining. Okaya has gathered a lot of information for this tournament. While trying steadily one by one, thinking about how to improve the time with the team. At first, the time Okaya was aiming for was in the 1’58 zone. From this weekend, the team have changed the setup of the bike to find new base from the beginning. Okaya was not able to reach the time he aimed in the first two sessions for however, he reached the 1’58.543 in free practice 3. It took a little time to reach the goal however, now the machine and the rider are set to aim to the next level.
Then came the World Supersport 300 class Superpole. The strategy for Okaya was to put out a decent time in the beginning and take it aggressively. Okaya was sure that he will be able to put out a lap time of 1’57 zone however, there were qualifying difficulties unique to this class and Okaya made progress on sector 1 and 2 in every lap however, in the last sectors, Okaya could not pull out from the pack and struggles to put out a time. As a result, 1’58.033 was the best time for Okaya and came 20th in Group A. Meaning he was forced to challenge the Last Chance Race.
The Last Chance Race started in the afternoon and all 24 riders fought hard into the first turn however, Okaya’s machine had a problem from the start and dropped his position to dead last at one point, however, he came back the first lap in 16th position. By lap 3 amazingly, Okaya was in 8th position and tried his best however, he finished the race in 9th position to end his weekend.
“Since the interval was long, I went ahead with preparations by investigating various things to understand the machine as well as riding and training. During the week we consulted with the team to make a new try and build the race more closely than ever. As a result, we came through in a good direction, so I think that part was good for all of us.
As for Superpole, I couldn't find the perfect timing and struggled very much. As a result, I was caught on traffic and could not put out a result expected. I'm very disappointed to this result because if I had the perfect lap, I could have been 10th.
My hopes were into the Last Chance Race however, I had a problem in start and was forced to fight from dead last. Although from 24th, I came back to 8th in 3 laps, and fought my very best but I could not catch the front and my race ended in 9th. I’m sure I could have been in the top 6 if it weren’t for the start and I’m very disappointed for that.
The next round at Magny-Cours, should be a good round since I do have experience in the past. I will do my best to bring back the results we all are looking for.
Thank you for your support as always.”
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The challenge for Yuta Okaya continues at the Round 8 of FIM Superbike World Championship the World Supersport 300 Class began at Donington Park in the United Kingdom.
Okaya believes that he has the pace to aim for the top even with from 19th starting position that he earned from yesterday’s Superpole. The weekend is going through a tricky weather condition however, it was dry condition in race day. In the warmup session for the World Supersport 300 class, Okaya tried to setup the bike for dry setting and confirming the race plan with the team in order to get to the top and ultimately puts a time of 1’43.808 in the last attack lap. It was a positive step forward towards the race.
The race began with 35 riders on the grid with 20℃ air temperature and 37℃ track temperature. Okaya made a rocket start off the line and was 10th and several accidents occurred in front of him however, fortunately this did not affect Okaya in any way. Okaya’s hard push continued however, rivals were also not giving up. Midway through the race Okaya was the leader in the third group in 13th position. The World Supersport 300 class is a class that have many lead changes every second and Okaya was in there to fight. At one point he was in 11th position however, the rivals were coming strong. Okaya fought very hard until the very last moment and finished 15th overall earning his first ever point in the championship standings.
“Finally, I was able to score a point and I am happy for that however, looking back to my race I think I could have been in a higher position, so I am a bit disappointed for that. I had a good start off the line however, I had some issues with the brakes and it was difficult to hold off the rivals behind. With that said I am happy that I was able to score a point. All my experiences from the past hard work is starting to pay off as a result. I am just in the starting line and I will improve step by step and move on to the next round.
I want to thank everyone who has been supporting me and please look forward for my next race. Thank you.”
Result / WorldSBK web site / Race
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FIM Superbike World Championship Round 8 Prosecco DOC UK Round started at Donington Park in United Kingdom. Starting to make progress, Yuta Okaya will fight to bring back another good result.
This weekend, Okaya is placed in Group A. It is his first appearance in Donington Park and started FP1 from learning the track. Okaya finished FP1 in 17th position with a time of 1’45.525 and 15th in FP2 with an improved time of 1’44.099 coming in 15th. In FP3 the following day, the condition had become half wet from dry conditions from yesterday. Being half wet, the team decided to go with wet weather tyres however, the strategy did not work out and the track dried up as the session went through. Okaya changed his plan and went for adjustments in the setup for the race. As a result, he marked 1’53.769 however, it was a good session for him since he was able to find the right direction towards Superpole.
In the afternoon the Superpole for Group A in the World Supersport 300 class took place however, it was done in a wet condition. All 26 riders went out to the track and being the class that has many position changes, it has become even more difficult with condition changing every lap. Okaya went out with used wet weather tyres and came within 2 seconds off the leader. The position was 10th at one point and Okaya gave everything he had and marked a time of 1’55.115 in lap 8 being his best lap time of the session. As a result, he came 12th in the group, 19th overall. Yuta Okaya will be in the race for tomorrow from 19th starting position.
My first impression with the Donington Park circuit was a bit tricky with a lot of ups and downs in the circuit. Although as I put laps out on the track, I was able to get use to the circuit and found a good groove. Today I could not read the weather and went out with wet weather tyres in FP3 but the condition did not match as the track was drying up and struggled to improve on my lap. However, I decided to use this time to set my bike up for Superpole and had some positive feedback and that was something to be positive about.
In Superpole I was forced to use the used wet weather tyres and couldn’t push much as I expected, and I am a bit disappointed for that. I just wish I had brand new wets and for sure I was able to get in the Top 10.
Tomorrow is expected to be a dry day and I have a good feel towards the race so I think I can show my strengths tomorrow. I will try to be calm and fight for higher positions.
Please look forward for my race tomorrow. Thank you!
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Race day for Round 7 of the 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship "Pata Riviera di Rimini Round" took place this weekend. The weather condition had recovered from yesterday's disastrous condition and sunshine was looking above.
Yuta Okaya concentrated to adjust to this dry condition by using all of the morning warm up session and have managed to improve on this personal best time with 1'52.574 riding alone. Okaya is able to build up his own rhythm this weekend and was able to go through the tasks he had with positive thinking and improving step by step.
The final venue of the weekend, the World Supersport 300 Class race began exactly at 15:15 pm local time with 28℃ air temperature and track temperature of 45℃. The 13 lap race was held with 36 riders on the track and especially in this class the position change occurs more often than any other category. With that said, the opening lap was a bit disastrous. One rider crashing at turn 6 in the opening lap, other riders had tried to get out of the way however, several other riders were involved in this crash. This was not the end of the disastrous opening lap, few other riders had crashed in several other corners and there were few dangerous moments however, Okaya had luckily gotten out of the way and made his charge through the field. Okaya was 21st by lap 2 however, struggled to overtake and lost few positions and went back to 24th at worst. With position changes being made throughout the track, Okaya marked his personal best time of the weekend in lap 7 with a time of 1'51.837 and charged back up through the field. As a result, Okaya finished 19th overall.
"I had concentrated to have my own dry setup for the race and used up the entire warm up session. As a result, I was able to improve on my lap times and it was very good. I am feeling very positive since up until last race, I was building my momentum towards the "race" however, this time I was able to plan the race out.
The race was very intense, having crashes here and there and I tried to avoid and it went well however, I was forced to lose few position while doing so. I had a good pace and was able to overtake other riders so it was a bit disappointing to think that if I had been in the front from the beginning. I was also struggling with grips in the tyres since the track was very hot. With that said, thinking back the race it was a positive race. The experience I had here will now be taken to the next race for a better result. I still was not able to earn a point so that will be the disappointing side of the weekend however, things are moving in the right direction for sure. I will try to move on by earning a point in the next race.
Thank you and please look forward for my next race!"
Result / WorldSBK web site / Race
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The 2019 FIM World Superbike Championship Round 7 Pata Riviera di Rimini Round started it's race weekend. At the last round, going through Last Chance Race, Yuta Okaya made his way to the race and was starting to output his results back to the team.
Okaya started out his weekend from 20th in FP1 B Group with a time of 1'53.150. In FP2, with track temperature raising, Okaya came 17th with 1'53.083 despite the difficult condition and was able to improve on his time. The feel of the bike is getting better and better every session and adjusted the bike for the sessions to come.
Unfortunately, Saturday started off from a wet condition. It had started to dry up by FP3 however, still having wet patches here and there, the condition was very difficult and many riders did not go out for testing. Okaya however, tried to collect data back to the team and ended his session in 13th with a time of 1'57.637.
Then came the Superpole. Group A went out first however, just 5 minutes into the session the condition went back to wet again. Condition changing every minute the Superpole for the 300 Class Group B started 12:50pm. It was a new challenge for Okaya having to go out on a session in a wet condition and it was a very tough session with rain pulling away and coming back. The times being set and positions changing constantly, Okaya was keeping up the pace and was 8th at highest keeping within the top 15 in the group. As a result, Okaya will start from 26th on tomorrow's race and came 13th on Superpole Group B.
The start of the weekend went pretty well and I was able to build up my task for the weekend and things are starting to go the right way. It was difficult to improve on my time in FP2 with such hot condition however, overall I think it went pretty well.
In FP3 I was able to ride with nearly dry condition however in Superpole, this wet condition was the first time for me to ride out in the rain setup in the Supersport 300 career. I was thinking of many ways to adapt to the situation and it actually worked out during Superpole and was able to be within the top 15. The position changes every second so I was a little scared to look up to my sign board. However, things are starting to go the right way and finally came to a position where I can actually race. Of course this is just a starting point so I will do my best for tomorrow's race.
Please look forward for the race tomorrow!
Result / WorldSBK web site / SUPERPOLE
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Round 6 of the FIM Superbike World Championship Acerbis Spanish Round took place at Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto.
It is Race 2 in the World Supersport 300 Class.
Yuta Okaya finished 6th in yesterday's "Last Chance Race" and earned his way to be on the race grid. It was a difficult race for Okaya however, there were positives as well for example he had a long time out on the track meaning he was able to bring the data back to the team for improvement and had time to prepare for Race 2.
In the morning warm up session, Okaya tried many things to improve from yesterday's trouble to aim for a better position with the team and prepared for the race being held in the afternoon.
With 26℃ air temperature and 48℃ track temperature, the 11lapper Race 2 began exactly 15 past 15:00 pm. Unfortunately the race was red flagged due to crashes in turn 1 and turn 3. Okaya was able to get through with no accident however, the race was shortened to 7 lap by the restart. After restart, there were crashes again however, Okaya was not involved in the accident and gaines few positions.
Even though Okaya attacked aggressively, he could not raise the time and struggles hard. As a result, he finished 28th. It was not the result Okaya was aiming for however, he was able to gather lot of data and experience. Okaya will aim for a further leap, driven by regret.
"Finally I was able to complete the full weekend. I was surrounded by many troubles during the week and could not improve. With that said, I went out and raced as hard as I could but I am disapointed. Although there were positive things on the other side like I was able to finish the race without crashing out. Unfortunately the result did not come with me however, we will improve and solve the problems we have now by the next round at Misano.
Thank you very much and please look forward to my next race."
Result / WorldSBK web site / RACE2
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Round 6 of 2019 FIM Superbike World Championship the Acerbis Spanish Round took place at Circuito de Jerez - Angel Nieto, Andalusia, Spain. It will be Yuta Okaya's 4th round of the season. In this round, Okaya and the team's condition was good from the start. In Group B FP1 Okaya put out 1'54.834 and places 6th only 0.398 seconds off the leader. 7th in FP2, 13th in Saturday's FP3. The overall average is getting higher however, the start of the weekend was in its best condition for Okaya and made a promising start.
In the Superpole of World Supersport 300 Class, the entire field is divided into 2 groups forming Group A and Group B. Okaya is placed in Group B and the qualifying for Group B started at 12:50 pm Spanish time with 27℃ air temperature and 45℃ track temperature. Okaya tried all he could to put a time on the leader board however, the best time was 1'55.904 leaving in 20t position in Group B, 44th overall. Which means Okaya will have to earn his way to the race in the "Last Chance Race".
The Last Chance Race was filled with 25 riders in the field. Top 6 riders will make it into the race. From 14th starting position, the 12 lap race had begun. Okaya made a fantastic start and come back the opening lap in 8th position. Making his way through the field, by lap 8 he was running in 5th. At the end, he lost a position however, a 6th place finish for the Japanese rider, making it to his first ever race in the season.
The last venue of Saturday was Race 1 of the World Supersport 300 Class. Okaya started the race from 35th position and the race started at 5:00 pm local time.
Okaya tried everything he could however, suffering from an unknown cause, he could not raise nor keep the pace with the field and ended race 1 in 27th position.
"I finally feel that I am actually competing in the race. We were able to be out on the track for a fairly long time and gathered many data and finally came up with a satisfying setup. However, my physical conditions are moving forward however, the time is not coming with me and I am trying almost everything in the trick book to make it happen. If things went smoother, I would not have to race in the Last Chance Race and many things happened. As a result, it affected my race at Race 1 and could not bring back the result I wished. Although I am feeling very positive and we think we can improve towards tomorrow. The race is not over yet so I will keep on trying my best and get ready for tomorrow's race.
Please look forward for tomorrow’s race as well. Thank you."
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The FIM Superbike World Championship Round 5 Pirelli Italian Round took place at Imola Circuit. This will be the third round of the world challenge for Yuta Okaya in the Supersport 300 Class. The interval from the last round at Assen was just about a month so Okaya went back to Japan for training and continued to work for this round.
This weekend, the condition had recovered with 20℃ air temperature, compared with other 2 rounds where it was fairly cool weather condition. Okaya is racing in Group B and the training at Japan was starting to pay off and was going through a good session. By FP2 he was only 2.47 seconds off from the leader with setting a lap time of 2’09.972 placing 14th on the lap chart.
In FP3 on second day, Okaya tried to simulate for Superpole and was getting ready however, a rider in front suddenly had technical problem and slowed down immediately. Okaya had nowhere to go and could not avoid contact with the rider in front and was forced to crash at turn 16. Unfortunately, the machine was damaged to a point where it was not ridable and was also forced to finish the session.
The mechanics did their best to fix the machine by Superpole and was able to go out for check up and there were still problems on the machine so Okaya came back to the pits having not crossed the finish line. The team took an emergency procedure to fix the machine and was able to go back out mid-way through the session. Unfortunately, on the final corner of the out lap, the font cut out and slipped out to the gravel. Okaya and the course marshal did their best to get him back out on track however, the session had ended and was not able to have a timed lap whatsoever. Leading Okaya to join the Last Chance Race.
In the Last Chance Race, with no time set on qualifying was forced to start from 25th on the grid. Only top 6 will be able to move on to tomorrow’s race and Okaya fought hard from the very beginning with overtaking 7 riders in lap 1 coming back to the control line in 18th position and moved on. By lap 8 he was able to gain up to 11th position however, the machine began to suffer from the problems from the crash earlier in the day and was forced to look after the machine and changed his riding style. Okaya was able to maintain 11th and finished the race. This was his first completed race of the year however, the weekend for Okaya had ended.
“I had a very good feel from the beginning of the weekend with FP1 and FP2 I was able to image my way through Superpole. However, in Saturday’s FP3 I had an unfortunate accident with a rider in front of me who had a technical problem on his bike and slowed down right in front of me and I had no where to go and could not avoid the crash. My plan for the weekend had changed dramatically from there and the machine was no longer ridable. The team did a fantastic job for fixing the bike for me and was able to get back on by Superpole however, I could not bring them back the result they have expected. Just if the machine was in perfect condition, I was very confident to finish the race within the top 6. As a result, one crash changed my weekend almost into a nightmare and could not show my full potential to the team. I tried my best with the given situation. I will now move on to next round at Jerez and my goal will be no crashes and do my best to get into the race on Sunday. Thank you.”
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Round 4 of the 2019 season FIM Superbike World Championship Motul Dutch Round had begun this weekend and the Supersport 300 Class is taking place as Round 2 in the calendar.
In the last round, Yuta Okaya just missed out from the crash he had in the Last Chance Race. Okaya had the pace to be in the top 6 and hopes were high for this round.
The European rounds thus far is going through fairly cold weather conditions. However, Okaya had raced in TT Assen Circuit before so this time he did not have to go through as much tasks as last round. Being one with the team, Okaya was able to trim down in lap times in the free practice sessions and came within 2 seconds from the top group. Hoping to be within the top 30 at Superpole.
Then the Superpole for Supersport 300 class started off. Okaya went out to the rack immediately however, he came back to the pits realizing there was something wrong about the machine. The mechanics worked on the bike as quickly as possible however, due to a mechanical problem, Okaya was not able to set a timed lap. However, there is still hopes left for the Last Change Race for this class.
On the other hand, a surprising snow was out on the track ultimately lead to a cancel for Race 1 on the World Superbike Class. With that said, the Last Chance Race that was about to take place after race 1, however, the Last Chance Race itself was going through delay and ultimately the Last Chance Race came to a cancel. It was a very unfortunate race weekend for Okaya.
“It was just a bad luck for us this weekend. Of course, it is very disappointing since the machine and myself were in a good condition and every time I go out on the track, I was able to trim down on my time, so I was confident for Superpole. As a result, I was not able to set a time in the Superpole. Even the Last Chance Race was canceled due to the snow, so it was just a bad luck. So now we will move forward for the next race. Please look forward for my next race. Thank you!”
Result / WorldSBK web site SUPERPOLE
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The challenge for Yuta Okaya begins in the 2019 season of the FIM Superbike World Championship World Supersport 300 Class. Joining the champion team of last year, the “DS Junior Team” with Kawasaki Ninja 400 to aim for the yearly champion. In this class, Okaya will be the first ever Japanese rider to compete full season. With 52 machines competing in 1 round, every round will be an important factor for this class.
The first round for Okaya is taking place at MotorLand Aragón in Spain. His first ever ride was at the test held in the same place few weeks ago. Okaya did his best to understand the circuit and the machine to prepare for the weekend. In order for Okaya to race in the weekend, he will firstly have to be within the top 30 at Superpole. The Superpole is held twice for this class as Group A and Group B. From this year, the qualifying format had changed and to give more chance to the riders, the rules were set to have a “Last Chance Race” with riders who had missed out on the groups and top 6 riders in the race will move on to Sunday’s race.The first round for Okaya is taking place at MotorLand Aragón in Spain. His first ever ride was at the test held in the same place few weeks ago. Okaya did his best to understand the circuit and the machine to prepare for the weekend. In order for Okaya to race in the weekend, he will firstly have to be within the top 30 at Superpole. The Superpole is held twice for this class as Group A and Group B. From this year, the qualifying format had changed and to give more chance to the riders, the rules were set to have a “Last Chance Race” with riders who had missed out on the groups and top 6 riders in the race will move on to Sunday’s race.
The first day of the weekend on Friday, Okaya was set to qualify in Group B. The FP1 started at Spain local time of 9:40 a.m. On this day Okaya used his time on adjusting himself and the bike to go through the testing menus. On FP2 and Saturday’s FP3 with team being as one, Okaya tried his best with very limited time given, to get some his lap times on the chart.
Finally, the World Supersport 300 Superpole Group B started at 12:50 p.m. local time. 26 riders went out for their attack lap at once. Okaya tried his very best and was able to shorten over 1 second from his best time and marked 2’10.892. Unfortunately, this lap time was not enough for Okaya to advance to Sunday’s race. However, with rule changes from this year with “Last Chance Race”, Okaya had one more chance to give it all he had.
The “Last Chance Race” was scheduled for 11 laps race with 22 riders altogether. Okaya was starting the race from 17th position. 3:15 p.m. local time, the race started. Okaya had a good start and raised his position to 15th in the opening lap. Then 12th on second lap, and by the end of 3rd lap he was 10th and was having a promising race. Then at turn 5 unfortunately, Okaya had crashed out of the race. It was a very unfortunate weekend for Okaya with his first race weekend however, Okaya had learned a lot out from his new environment and had a very good weekend overall.
“To be honest it was very tough weekend. I have used all my time and did everything I could to improve my lap times until the end of FP3. However, I have found a solution for my set-up and by Superpole I had a positive feeling and as a result I was able to find some time here and there however, it is still far from the leaders so we will have to keep working.
I have changed my riding style on the “Last Change Race” and went on to challenge for the top 6. I had a decent start however, I had to be in top 6 so I pushed as far as I can, and I actually had a good feel towards the top 6. However, I was impatient and made a mistake on turn 5 in lap 4 and my weekend ended there.
Next round at Assen I will definitely try to avoid the last chance race and be within the top 15 in my qualifying group and secure my spot for the race. I have raced at Assen before so next time we wish to do better with the team.
Thank you very much and please look forward for my next race!”
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I, Yuta Okaya is very honored to announce that I will move on to World Championship Series from Japan to compete in the FIM SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP World Supersport 300 Class from 2019. I will be racing with DS Junior Team, the champion team from last year, and with Kawasaki, which will be my first time. I will of course aim for the series champion with the Ninja 400.
This year, there will be many turning points for me such as moving to overseas and a change of manufacturer. Also, the DS Junior Team is the champion team of last year's World Supersport 300 Class and I feel the pressure very much. I will be the first Japanese rider to compete in this class and every race will be challenging for sure due to many competitors around me. However, I will continue to do my by best to bring back a result for the team and raise a Japanese flag at the podium.
Yesterday, I have met with the team and now we are in Motorland Aragon for testing as we speak. There are lot to learn from the beginning since it is the first time for me to be in this situation however, I will try to learn as fast as possible and be able to pull out the full potential of the bike.
Lastly, I have dreamed all my life to be able to ride in the World Championship. This would nothave become a reality without Midori Moriwaki, who have been supporting me as my manager,and everyone who has been involved with me to make all of this happen.
Please look forward for my challenge against the world.
・Race:FIM SUPERBIKE WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
・Class:World Supersport 300
・Team:DS Junior Team
・Machine:Kawasaki Ninja 400
・All Japan Road Race Championship J-GP3 Class / Rank 2nd Overall with 3 Wins (most wins)
・MFJ MOTO AWARDS 2018 Road Race Awards / Rookie of the Year Award (J-GP3 Class)
・Motegi Road Race Championship / Series Champion
・Tsukuba Road Race Championship / Competed
・Suzuka Sunday Road Race Championship / Competed
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