Takeshi Koikeda claimed some redemption in the Japanese JNCC by securing victory at round two of the series following his loss at the series opener…
The second round of JNCC took place at a racing course near the city of Osaka. In addition to the muddy conditions on the 6km-long circuit due to the rain throughout the previous day, the Extreme Section in front of the spectators provided a high degree of difficulty with obstacles built with logs.
Tatsuya Saiki (KTM), the rookie who had won the first race three weeks ago, took the lead from the off. In the early stage of the race, he was gained on by Takeshi Koikeda (KTM) who was in his second race back on home soil after competing in GNCC last year, and the defending champion Manabu Watanabe (YAMAHA).
Watanabe however slipped over on the first lap and ended up slowing down with a broken front brake, leaving Saiki (KTM) and Koikeda (KTM) as the only two contenders for victory.
Saiki then developed a burst blister on his hands, which forced him to a pit stop for medical treatment, before rejoining the race to put pressure on the race leader Koikeda.
But in the last 30 minutes of the three-hour race Koikeda set the pace close to the lap record. He managed to shake off Saiki and crossed the finish line with a substantial lead sealing the round 2 win…
The third round of the JNCC is scheduled in two weeks time, 10th April in Hiroshima.
Report & Photos: BIG TANK / ENDURO.J
Results - JNCC R2
1 Takeshi Koikeda, KTM350EXC, KTM Japan Racing
2 Tatsuya Saiki, KTM250SX, KTM XPK Racing
3 Kenji Suzuki, YAMAHA YZ125, Blue Riders YAMALUBE
4 Manabu Watanabe, YAMAHA YZ250FX. TwisterRacing
5 Masahiro Kobayashi, HONDA CRF450R
6 Daiki Baba, HONDA CRF250R, TEAM887
7 Hiroshi Yamamoto, SUZUKI RMZ450, SRF SPORTS
8 Nobuya Watarai, Kawasaki KX450F, K-RYDZ
9 Ren Ishidoya, KTM450EXCF, KTM Saitama City
10 Yuta Hayashi, KTM450EXC, KTM XPK Racing