A Kart racing for Honda Racing drivers and riders was conducted during the 2015 Honda Racing Thanks Day, which was held in Twin Ring Motegi on December 6, 2015. Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and more drivers participated in the Kart racing; this put people at the venue in high spirits.
This dream match was held in a Kart course inside Mobi Park, which is located ahead of the center entrance. The participants are, starting from motorcycle riders, Toni Bou, Takahisa Fujinami, Jaime Busto, who actively participate in Trial World Championship race together with Marquez and Pedrosa from the Repsol Honda Team, who are active in the MotoGP. On the other hand, the participating car drivers are Takuma Sato (IndyCar driver), then Kosuke Matsuura, Oliver Turvey, Hideki Muto, and Bertrand Baguette, who are active in Super GT.
Particularly, Marquez and Pedrosa wore new racing suits that were designed with Repsol Honda’s team color in this event. “I’d often drive a Kart in Spain,” Marquez said with full confidence. Meanwhile, car driver Takuma also made the match exciting by saying, “As a car driver, I couldn’t lose to them,” just before the race began.
There was a 7-minute timed qualifying round. The Moto GP riders also had a favorable lap time, but eventually, the car drivers dominated the Top 5. To make it more interesting, an immediate reverse grid (the reversion of the starting order of the qualifying round) was conducted, then the 12-lap final racing started with the motorcycle riders on the innermost part of the grid. The battle between the three became even wider as it went on from the start of the race. Takuma, Marquez and Pedrosa were suddenly battling side by side in top groups, but Marquez made a wrong spin while on the way so it became really intense. In the middle of the race, Takuma showed a stable performance, and went away from the group as he moved fast towards the top spot.
Many thought that Takuma could manage to maintain this progress, but he slowed down his pace as if he was waiting for a succeeding rival in order to create a highlight at the end part of this event. Then Turvey, who also work for on test driving for McLaren, relentlessly paced up. He vigorously paced up from the last line of the reverse grid, and the last three laps made the whole venue excited, with a serious fight between Takuma and Turvey. Turvey stole the top spot from Takuma and has earned the top checker. Takuma, who unfortunately caused the reverse, also congratulated Turvey’s performance. Additionally, Baguette made it to the 3rd place.
As a result, Marquez and Pedrosa became excited about joining a Kart race, which was quite a surprise, even though they were not able to make it to the winners’ podium. After the race, they were all smiles while having friendly conversations with the riders and the drivers who raced together with them. The fans, who had been watching them from the side of the course since early in the morning, also enjoyed the event.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)