Fu­jii-san re­mem­bered

Classic Racer - - READER WRITE -

Dear CR It is a pity Bruce Cox for­got Kawasaki’s first fac­tory rider, the late Toshio Fu­jii. With this rider and the wa­ter-cooled 125 Kawasaki Sim­monds rode later, Kawasaki started as a fac­tory-team in the World Cham­pi­onship in 1966, begin­ning with Hock­en­heim in May. Un­like Sim­monds, who started with this bike later as a pri­va­teer, 1966 had been a real fac­tory ef­fort by Kawasaki with a com­plete team oper­at­ing at the Euro­pean GPS. Un­for­tu­nately, the com­pe­ti­tion in the 125cc class that year, with fac­tory teams from Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha, was so strong, that Fu­jii didn’t get a sin­gle point in the cham­pi­onship. And it be­came worse, as he crashed in prac­tice at the 1966 TT on Au­gust 26 and died af­ter­wards. Fu­jii’s dis­as­ter was Sim­monds’ luck, as Dave got his chance with the Kawasaki at the Ja­pan GP late that year. The fol­low­ing part of his­tory is well de­scribed by Bruce Cox. En­closed you’ll find a pri­vate photo, made at prac­tice for the East Ger­man GP 1966, show­ing Fu­jii in thought­ful mood. He shouldn’t be for­got­ten in mo­tor­cy­cle his­tory! Man­fred Woll Email

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