Anime and Manga for Motegi 2014

2014 Motegi MotoGP poster 8 photos
Photo: Ranka Fujiwara
Oh My GoddessOh My Goddess livery2014 Motegi poster2012 Motegi posterKatsuyuki Nakasuga, Valencia 2012Katsuyuki Nakasuga, Valencia 20122013 Motegi poster
It goes without saying that the whole MotoGP and WSBK racing series would definitely be as dull as it gets, of not even cease to exist (the premier class) without the massive involvement of the Japanese manufacturers. These fellows are as devoted to bike engineering as it gets, and during the last 5 decades the world has seen dramatic progress in the two-wheeled industry.
Yet motorcycle technology reputation is only one of the things which set Japan apart, with the manga and anime culture being just another trademark of the land of the Rising Sun. People are so fond of the anime culture that the posters of the Motegi rounds have been also using cartoons for years now, being true collectible items and really hard to come by.

This year’s poster is not making an exception, with the Japanese graphic artist Ranka Fujiwara having created a new masterpiece for this weekend’s race. Funnty thing, this year’s poster shows much grimmer figures for the 4 top riders. Given the fact that Marc Marquez could clinch an early title at Motegi, it’s fairly easy to understand that Lorenzo, Rossi and Pedrosa will try their best to prevent this from happening, especially as we’re in the math territory now and the “anything can happen” factor could make a huge difference in the outcome of the race. Just remember the dramatic Aragon MotoGP round a fortnight ago and you’ll see how important each move and mistake has become.

Oh My Goddess

To make things even funnier, manga has even penetrated Grand Prix racing down to the track level. Young Moto3 rider Hikari Okubo will enter as a wildcard and his Honda NSF250R will wear a most uncanny livery, inspired from the Japanese manga series Oh My Goddess. “Oh My Goddess, a romantic comedy created by Kosuke Fujishima, has run in Japan for twenty-six years, was made into a movie in 2005, and has a comic circulation of over two million copies,” according to

Okubo, 21, has been competing since the age of 19 in the J-GP3 class of the All Japan Road Racing Championship, and is now the manager of the Hot Racing Team. Not sure why I feel like a broader and broader smile rises on my face as I put together “hot racing” and “manga” in the same sentence…

Yamaha wildcard MotoGP entry announced

As we reported back in the day, Motegi will see Yamaha with three bikes on the grid. The Japanese round will have 33-year-old local rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga, who is involved with the development of the YZR-M1 machines.

Nakasuga has raced 5 times in the premiere class, with the best position being an incredible second place at Valencia in 2012, behind Dani Pedrosa and ahead of Casey Stoner. Crutchlow, Lorenzo, Bradl, Hayden and more crashed out of the race. Last year, Nakasuga finished 11th in a race won by Jorge Lorenzo.
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