Japanese ace to race at $20K King of Capricorn
MOTOCROSS: Kota Toriyabe will fly the international flag at this weekend’s King of Capricorn.
The Japanese racer will line up against some of Australia’s best at Rockhampton’s Six Mile Raceway.
There is a $20,000 prize pool on offer at the two-day event, which is being hosted by the Rockhampton and District Motocross Club.
With the major series for professionals cancelled due to COVID-19, the prize money on offer at King of Capricorn will be the biggest in Australia for a motocross event for 2020.
Toriyabe, who was ranked number three in Japan in the 250cc division after the 2019 season, will be keen to pocket a share of it.
He has spent the past seven months in Australia working on his speed, skill and race craft with Yamaha.
He has been based in Brisbane, near the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team for which he rides.
That has allowed him to work closely with former Australian champ and current Queensland number one, Jay Wilson.
Toriyabe, 21 recently finished sixth in the Queensland Motocross Championships and continues to improve with every race.
“I have really enjoyed my time in Australia and have loved racing over here,” he said.
“The tracks are a lot different to what I have at home and also the speed and intensity of the top riders is very fast but I think I have improved since I have been here and feel like my riding is better.
“It took me some time to adjust to the tracks and then tune my bike to them, but things are going well now, and I really like racing in Australia.
“In Japan, we don’t have many sand courses, but I have raced several since I have been here and am really looking forward to Rockhampton and experiencing a new city and a new track.”
With national events still on hold due to border restrictions, the King of Capricorn could be the final race for the likeable Japanese racer before he heads home.
“I would like to stay or come back to Australia again next year,” Toriyabe said.
“Everyone at Yamaha and in racing has been very good to me and I have made many friends.
“If I get the opportunity to return, I will as Australia has been awesome.”