Akira Yanagawa

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Akira Yanagawa
Nationality  Japanese
Born (1971-07-15) July 15, 1971 (age 45)
Kagoshima, Japan
Current team Team GREEN
Bike number 87
Motorcycle racing career statistics
MotoGP World Championship
Active years 20022003, 2007
Manufacturers Kawasaki
2007 championship position NC (0 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
4 0 0 0 0 0
Superbike World Championship
Active years 1994, 19962002, 2010
Manufacturers Kawasaki
2010 championship position NC (0 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
121 3 23 2 6 1207

Akira Yanagawa (柳川 明 Yanagawa Akira?, born July 15, 1971) is a motorcycle road racer from Japan. He won three World Superbike Championship races and finished on the podium on 20 further occasions.

Career[edit]

He started racing on mini-bikes before becoming Japan's 250cc champion in 1989. He moved to his homeland's Superbike championship in 1993. By 1997 Kawasaki considered him ready for the Superbike World Championship.

Initial testing displays[1] and results suggested that they were not wrong. At the A1-Ring, Yanagawa became the first Japanese rider to win a Superbike World Championship race outside his homeland, also winning Sugo later in the year to come 4th overall. 1998 was dominated by two huge crashes. At Monza the bike hurtled through the gravel at the Ascari Chicane before catching fire due to a burst fuel line, with Yanagawa nowhere near it. At Laguna Seca he was running 2nd when Doug Chandler's wild card Kawasaki went out of control on the run into the Corkscrew corner and harpooned Yanagawa. It was a frightening moment, yet Yanagawa only missed one further round. He was classified 2nd in that race, as the restart was abandoned following another pile-up. On his return he took two 4th places, and followed this with two podium results at Sugo. This was good for 7th overall.

In 1999 and 2000 he came 5th overall, with a win at Sugo and five third places in 1999. He was 9th in 2001, crashing on lap 1 of his 100th WSBK race at Sugo but scoring two 3rds at Monza,[2] as Kawasaki gradually lost interest in the Superbike World Championship, focusing instead on developing a MotoGP bike for 2002.[3] Yanagawa raced in Japan's Superbike series while testing this, and briefly raced it before returning to a testing role.[4] He has continued in the All-Japan series, leading it in 2007 before losing out to Atsushi Watanabe, and also entered for a one-off MotoGP round at Motegi.[5]

Career statistics[edit]

Superbike World Championship[edit]

Races by year[edit]

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Pos. Pts
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
1994 Suzuki GBR GBR GER GER ITA ITA SPA SPA AUT AUT INA INA JPN
11
JPN
18
NED NED SMR SMR EUR EUR AUS AUS 47th 5
1996 Kawasaki SMR SMR GBR GBR GER GER ITA ITA CZE CZE USA USA EUR EUR INA INA JPN
Ret
JPN
DNS
NED NED SPA SPA AUS AUS NC 0
1997 Kawasaki AUS
4
AUS
Ret
SMR
Ret
SMR
5
GBR
DNS
GBR
DNS
GER
8
GER
2
ITA
8
ITA
Ret
USA
10
USA
5
EUR
5
EUR
4
AUT
2
AUT
1
NED
8
NED
7
SPA
4
SPA
4
JPN
1
JPN
Ret
INA
4
INA
2
4th 247
1998 Kawasaki AUS
5
AUS
5
GBR
5
GBR
16
ITA
Ret
ITA
6
SPA
13
SPA
7
GER
4
GER
5
SMR
5
SMR
5
RSA
6
RSA
5
USA
2
USA
DNS
EUR EUR AUT
4
AUT
4
NED
7
NED
6
JPN
4
JPN
2
7th 210
1999 Kawasaki RSA
6
RSA
5
AUS
5
AUS
6
GBR
5
GBR
4
SPA
2
SPA
2
ITA
7
ITA
5
GER
Ret
GER
3
SMR
3
SMR
3
USA
3
USA
12
EUR
6
EUR
5
AUT
DNS
AUT
DNS
NED
6
NED
4
GER
3
GER
4
JPN
3
JPN
1
5th 308
2000 Kawasaki RSA
DNS
RSA
DNS
AUS
9
AUS
6
JPN
Ret
JPN
6
GBR
7
GBR
5
ITA
3
ITA
3
GER
2
GER
Ret
SMR
5
SMR
6
SPA
10
SPA
12
USA
6
USA
5
EUR
9
EUR
5
NED
6
NED
2
GER
4
GER
3
GBR
6
GBR
7
5th 247
2001 Kawasaki SPA
8
SPA
6
RSA
5
RSA
Ret
AUS
4
AUS
C
JPN
Ret
JPN
11
ITA
3
ITA
3
GBR
14
GBR
8
GER
12
GER
10
SMR
5
SMR
Ret
USA
Ret
USA
8
EUR
10
EUR
8
GER
4
GER
9
NED
8
NED
6
ITA
DNS
ITA
DNS
9th 170
2002 Kawasaki SPA SPA AUS AUS RSA RSA JPN
6
JPN
6
ITA ITA GBR GBR GER GER SMR SMR USA USA GBR GBR GER GER NED NED ITA ITA 23rd 20
2010 Kawasaki AUS AUS POR POR SPA SPA NED NED ITA ITA RSA RSA USA USA SMR SMR CZE CZE GBR
19
GBR
19
GER GER ITA ITA FRA FRA NC 0

Grand Prix motorcycle racing[edit]

By season[edit]

Season Class Motorcycle Team Number Race Win Podium Pole FLap Pts Plcd
2002 MotoGP Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 48 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2003 MotoGP Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 48 2 0 0 0 0 0 NC
2007 MotoGP Kawasaki Kawasaki Racing Team 87 1 0 0 0 0 0 NC
Total 4 0 0 0 0 0

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos. Pts
2002 MotoGP Kawasaki JPN RSA SPA FRA ITA CAT NED GBR GER CZE POR BRA PAC
Ret
MAL AUS VAL NC 0
2003 MotoGP Kawasaki JPN
18
RSA SPA FRA ITA CAT
Ret
NED GBR GER CZE POR BRA PAC MAL AUS VAL NC 0
2007 MotoGP Kawasaki QAT SPA CHN TUR FRA ITA CAT GBR NED GER USA CZE RSM POR JPN
Ret
AUS MAL VAL NC 0

References[edit]

External links[edit]