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Sep 27th, 2023
Round 7 of the MFJ All Japan Road Race Championship was held at Okayama International Circuit (Okayama) on September 23-24.
In the ST1000 class, #1 Kazuma Watanabe, who started from 3rd position, had a hard time just keeping up with the high pace of the top riders from the beginning of the race. However, on the 12th lap, the top two crashed and he moved into 3rd. Watanabe maintained 3rd position but could not close the distance as he entered the final lap. The two bikes in front of him crashed during the final corner, and Watanabe crossed the checkered flag in first place, his first win of the season. With this win, he is now only 3 points behind the leader in overall standings, which means he has a great chance of winning his third consecutive championship.
In the JSB1000 class, from the start the two Yamaha riders were running one-two, with #36 Ryo Mizuno chasing in a group fighting for 3rd place, and #4 Kosuke Sakumoto in a group fighting for 4th. Mizuno then broke away and jumped ahead to take 3rd place alone. Sakumoto had machine trouble and crashed on 8th lap, dropping to 17th, but quickly picked up his machine and resumed riding, overtaking the machines in front one by one to take the checkered flag in 13th place.
#31 Brapa in ST600 class started from 17th position and rode aggressively as he did in the qualifying round, improving his position with each lap to take the checkered flag in 12th place.