Shoya Tomizawa 1990-2010
September 5th marked two years since the passing of Japan’s rising star, Shoya Tomizawa, who died in a tragic accident at the Misano Circuit in San Marino, the venue for the next round in the championship in just a few days time.
Having watched the event unfold on the tv screen early that morning, just thinking back is enough to recall the horrific details perfectly, as if it is a photograph in my mind. At the time his death hit the racing community hard as his passing was the first in grand prix racing since Daijiro Kato in Suzuka in 2003, who, like many of his fellow Japanese riders, Tomizawa wore a tribute 74 on his leathers to remember. My thoughts also go out to Scott Redding and Alex De Angelis, who could do nothing to stop the chain of events they were caught up in.
Tomizawa was just 19 when he died, having been born in Chiba, Japan on 10th December 1990. He had shown an interest in motorbikes from the age of three and rode minibikes competitively aged ten. After wildcard rides and a full 250cc season in 2009 Tomizawa had shone in the new Moto2 class, his smile quickly becoming his trademark from his early press appearances following his victory in the season opener in Qatar, followed by a first pole position and a second place in Jerez. At the time of his passing Tomizawa was still seventh in a very close opening Moto2 season for the Technomag-CIP team, who are organizing the second edition of ‘Shoya Day’ at the Circuit d’Ales in France, September 21st, all proceeds raised will go to Tomizawa’s family.
Shoya image used under creative commons from Luke Brackenbury (Brakenbury PR and Media) at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lukebrackenbury/