Yukio Kagayama was back in front of the British public last week at the NEC, his first major public engagement since signing for the Worx Suzuki team to race in BSB next year.
And he’s promising some of his typical no holds barred, ‘dramatic action.’
Kagayama’s outgoing personality and aggressive riding style won him the hearts of BSB fans when he rode for the Rizla Suzuki team in 2003/2004 and, after five years of racing in WSB, he’s back!
“Please, I want to say hello to British race fans,” the Japanese star told MCN. “Thank you very much for all your support in the past and I’m looking forward to racing in front of you again next year.
“I take so much energy for British fans. I remember after my big crash at Cadwell in 2003 how much support I was given. It gave me the motivation to come back stronger.
“I’m really looking forward to next year. BSB is still the strongest domestic superbike championship in the world – much stronger than Japan and AMA.
"It’s more fun for the rider because you are much closer to the fans – and you see the same fans from track to track. In WSB you visit many countries so it’s not so personal.”
Despite horrific injuries Kagayama suffered at Cadwell in 2003 – when he smashed his pelvis and then suffered serious complications and infections as a result, he still claims the Lincolnshire circuit to be his favourite on the BSB schedule.
“Cadwell there are, for sure, some bad memories but then I have so many good ones – like being able to go back a year later and win there.
"But I also like Oulton Park – which is very technical - and I’m really looking forward to racing at Silverstone on the new GP track.
Kagayama is also looking forward to racing alongside new team-mate Tommy Hill.
He said: “When I rode for the Rizla team I was with john Reynolds and we had a very good relationship. I want the same with Tommy.
"He is working with my old crew chief, Les (Pearson) and I have Chris (Anderson – a new Worx Suzuki recruit) but there will not be Tommy team and Yuki team.
"There will be one team, working together and I promise to show the British fans some dramatic racing next year.”