World Superbikes: Yukio Kagayama pays homage to Kevin Schwantz

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Yukio Kagayama has dropped his trademark number 71 race number and will race with the number 34 in 2008.

The Suzuki man will race with the number 34, as it was number he used when he won the Suzuka Eight-Hour race last season and out of respect for 500GP legend, Kevin Schwantz.

Yukio Kagayama said: “I raced with number 71 before because I wanted the number 7 because of Barry Sheene and the number 1 was because I wanted to be world champion.  

This year I wanted to change and asked to have the number 7, but Carlos Checa had already taken the number.

“Then I decided to have the number 34 as it was the number I took my first ever win of the Suzuka Eight-Hour with, but I thought it might be a problem because this was Kevin’s number.

“Luckily my friend spoke with Kevin who said he was very proud for me to race with his number so I am very happy about this.”

As a mark of respect to Kevin Schwantz’s achievements the number 34 was retired from MotoGP class when the American quit racing, but it’s still available to use in other classes.

Yukio Kagayama will also revert back to a red version of his AC Cobra Shoei helmet to match the teams new Pebemobile title sponsor colour scheme.

 

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Michael Guy

By Michael Guy

Sports Editor, former 250-racer and adventure rider