Just days before the international lock down that saw borders closed and the skies empty, Kota Toriyabe made it to Australia to begin his preparations for the Australian racing season to contest the MX Nationals in the MX2 division.
The Japanese ace was given the opportunity by the big wigs in Japan to further his career and he has since moved into a bayside suburb in Brisbane to be close to the Yamalube Yamaha Team and has been joined by his mechanic, Watanabe Tsuyoshi.
The pair can often be seen at tracks around the Brisbane area, working diligently to get accustomed to the local track conditions and adjusting his bike to suit. They are the odd couple of motocross. Toriyabe is measured and controlled on the bike and conservative and shy off it. Watanabe is the world‰Ûªs most enthusiast pit boarder who can lap time, video, write messages and wave the white rag like it‰Ûªs no one‰Ûªs business.
But despite the trying conditions, both are enjoying their new environment and working hard to achieve their goals. Kota has done one race in Australia, the Mountain Man event in Toowoomba and now being able to ride with other riders, he now knows more about the pace in Australia and what he needs to do to be competitive?
It has been three months since he has been in Australia and by now he was expected to have done several rounds of the MX Nationals and be elbows deep in racing each weekend. But the virus has stopped the world spinning and the hard working Japanese rider is yet to front up for a national but is desperate to get things rolling.
Time to check in with him and find out how things have been going.