After the five months long off-season, The opening round of 2017 Japanese Enduro Championship series took place in Hiroshima with Tadashi Kugimura securing the win. 

The route was just 11km and included a four kilometre long enduro test with varied terrain. 

In the build up to the race a press conference was held to announce Japan’s ISDE World Trophy team for 2017.  This will be their first World Trophy team in seven years. 

The tough round one began under sunny, warm and dusty conditions. 

 

japan enduro championship Tadashi Kugimura

Photo Credit: Enduro J.
 

In the A-class, Honda mounted Tadashi Kugimura showed amazing speed from first test with his new CRF450RX. 

“I told myself firmly that grab my second title by any chance,” said the Honda rider. “I worked hard in training before this season opener and had my 450RX working great on this technical track. Now I look forward to next round.” 

Kugimura scored the best time in five of a  total six tests to claim the overall win. 

Second place went to Yamaha's Kenji Suzuki… “It’s been a good day but Kugimura was much too fast.” 

The final step of podium for Masato Tomoyama (KTM).

 

japan enduro championship Kenji Suzuki2

Photo Credit: Enduro J.

Women's class

Masami Fukuda, who is 2016 champion, took the lead during the beginning of the race. But she suffered an ankle injury on the fourth lap. Soldiering on she managed to finish but ultimately lost too much time on the final test.

Her loss was Yamaha YZ125X mounted Kaori Kondo’s gain and she capitalised to take the win… 

“In the morning, I just wasn’t riding too good. But once I found my groove my Yamaha worked well to improve, especially in the final test the feeling was good. I'm very happy to win this opening round.”

The JEC 2017 round two now heads to new venue to Toyama on 18th June.

 

japan enduro championship Masato Tomoyama

Photo Credit: Enduro J.

 

Reporting by Big Tank

 

Results JEC 2017 R1

A-class

1, Tadashi KUGIMURA, Honda CRF450RX

2, Kenji SUZUKI, Yamaha YZ250FX

3, Masato TOMOYAMA, KTM 150SX

4, Ren ISHIDOYA, KTM 250EXC

5, Yutaro UCHIYAMA, Yamaha YZ450FX

6, Takase TANAKA, Kawasaki KX450F

 

B-class

1, Takanori NAKAJIMA, Yamaha YZ250FX

2, Kouta MURAKAMI, Honda CRF250R

3, Tomoki OHGAMI, Husqvarna FE250

4, Hikaru NINUMA, BETA RR2T

5, Takashi OGAWA, Yamaha YZ250FX

6, Masahide AOYAMA, Yamaha YZ250FX

 

Women

1, Kaori KONDO, Yamaha YZ125X

2, Masami FUKUDA, Husqvarna TE250

3, Seiko SUGAWARA, Yamaha YZ250FX

4, Harumi OHTA, Yamaha YZ125X

5, Mami IDEGAWA, KTM 200EXC

6, Izumi KAWADA, Kawasaki KX125

 

 

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Hisashi Haruki
Japan Contributor