TOKYO (TR) – Mitsugu Takahashi was crowned Super Star champion of Japan’s Autorace circuit on Monday at the “27th Super Star Playoff” at the Kawaguchi Motorcycle Racing Course in Saitama Prefecture, reports Tokyo Sports (Dec. 31).
Takahashi met the checkered flag ahead of Daisuke Kaneko in the final lap of the deciding 11th race to the cheers of the 18,616 fans in attendance.
“This is the best feeling,” said the 41-year-old Takahashi during the award presentation. “My motorcycle and tires were in top form today. In the trial run, the bike felt good. So if I could get a good position (on the track) in the first half of the race, I thought I could take it.”
After beginning the race in the fourth position, Takahashi took the lead on the third turn of the fifth lap around the 500-meter asphalt oval and cruised to the finish line.
There are five Super Grade (SG) races held throughout the nation each year. The final at Kawaguchi determines the year’s SG Super Star rider.
Takahashi, who has won a total of 20 SG races, received 30 million yen in prize money. The victory was his fourth at Kawaguchi. He last won the event in 2009.
Takahashi acknowledged that the strength of the competition is high at the Super Star Playoff. “I am in my 40s now so it will be difficult to continue with positive results beyond this year but I will do my best,” he said.