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Aug 24th, 2023

Starting the second half of the season with a 2nd place finish

Round 5 of the 2023 MFJ All Japan Road Race Championship and Motegi 2&4 Race were held at the Mobility Resort Motegi (Tochigi) on August 19-20.
Over 170 employees and their families from Tochigi, Ibaraki, Fukushima, Gunma, Kanagawa, and other areas came to support the event, as it was during summer break.
In the qualifying round on the 19th, #36 Mizuno recovered from the previous day's struggles in free practice, finishing 4th and only 0.378 seconds behind the leader, while #4 Sakumoto was 8th at 1.068 seconds behind the leader--both in solid position to take the top spot.
In the final race, the race started as scheduled at 12:35, but was red-flagged due to a crash on the 3rd lap, and restarted at 12:55 4 laps deducted for 16 laps total. #4 Mizuno, who started 4th, passed #3 Okamoto at the 5th corner on lap 8, and on lap 9 passed #37 Tsuda at the same 5th corner to move up to 2nd place. He then caught up with Nakasuga, who was running in the lead, and a side-by-side battle unfolded. However, on the 12th lap, an accident occurred when Okamoto, who was coming up from behind, hit Mizuno's rear wheel. While he was off-balance due to this accident, Nakasuga was allowed to run alone and took the checkered flag in 2nd place.
Starting from 8th position, #4 Sakumoto showed a strong performance, passing one rider on the first corner from the initial lap. He also passed another bike at a 90-degree corner to take the checkered flag in 4th place.