The ol man can still get it done.
AKIYOSHI TAKES TSUKUBA PODIUM
Suzuki factory test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi raced his Wins GSX-R1000 to his first podium of the season at the third round of the All Japan Superbike series at Tsukuba.
After smashing the lap record to record pole position, Akiyoshi and Yoshimura Suzuki's Atsushi Watanabe trailed Yamaha's Norick Abe into the opening corner before Akiyoshi took the lead before the end of the opening lap.
The race was red flagged twice due to fallen riders in the track and on the final restart, Abe led again with the Suzuki men further back in the pack.
Akiyoshi moved from fourth to second after passing Takashi Yasuda and Yoshimura Suzuki's Daisaku Sakai and then started reeling in Abe, eventually passing him on lap 13, but he couldn't catch leader and eventual winner Akira Yanagawa (Kawasaki).
Said Akiyoshi: "My bike doesn't use any factory parts so I struggled in some places against the factory bikes. But I showed the Suzuki GSX-R's high potential
to all the fans today. I lost my clutch feeling in the restarts so I didn't get a good start in the third race. I didn't want Yanagawa and Abe to get away so I pushed very hard throughout the race. I feel very happy and a little unhappy today: Happy because of the great battle with Norick and unhappy because I didn't win!"
1 Akira YANAGAWA (Team Green Kawasaki)
2 Kousuke AKIYOSHI (Wins Suzuki RT)
3 Norick ABE (Y's Gear Racing Yamaha)
4 Tatsuya YAMAGICHI (Moriwaki Honda)
5 Yusuke TESHIMA (Team HRC Honda)
6 Takashi YASUDA (Harc Pro Honda)
7 Nobuyuki OOSAKI (SP-Tadao Honda)
8 Daisaku SAKAI (Yoshimura Suzuki)
9 Atsushi WATANABE (Yoshimura Suzuki)
10 Takeshi TSUJIMURA (TSR Honda)
Championship Points: 1: YAMAGUCHI 58, 2: WATANABE 57, 3: YANAGAWA 52, 4: AKIYOSHI 49, 4: ABE 49, 6: YASUDA 48, 7: KAMEYA 39, 8: OSAKI 36, 9: MORIWAKI 35, 10: SAKAI 35.