people power

Pops Yoshimura is himself a legend in racing and has been involved in the sport through the greatest eras of the post war period. Someone like Pops, who has seen so many of the worlds all time greats is not easily impressed but from the first time that Kevin rode in the 200 K race at Suzuka he could be counted as a fan.

"I remember the day when Kevin raced for the Yoshimura team in Japan. He was in a very difficult position and yet still made a good result, from that moment I was convinced of his ability and determination. He had broken his collarbone before coming to Japan, it was raining and it was his first race in the rain, he had no experience with rain tyres and he had never seen the track before."

"In spite of the terribly unfavourable conditions he finished third on the F3 machine. It proved to me that he had the ability to get the most out of the machine under any conditions, to ride right on the limit. He also rode in the TT Fl but crashed."

"As a rider his biggest competitor and motivation is himself. He is never rattled by others it is just himself that he has to satisfy. I have been following his success since he stopped riding for us. He tried too hard and sometimes fell, because he was pushing himself. He put the pressure on himself to perform.

In 1993 he was clear in what he had to do, was in control of himself. Now he knows how to use his passion properly, sometimes trying very hard sometimes with reserve.

He won the championship but he still retains his modesty. He is not arrogant at all. For example; when our riders have asked him for advice he has willingly given honest answers. Also, needless to say, he remains loyal and cooperative with us. He has yet to win the Suzuka 8 hour race hut there is no special reason, simply unfortunate coincidence. He will win soon."

"He has sportsmanship, that is why he could get along with Rainey even after their hard battles," concludes Pops thinking back over a decade of association between Yoshimura and the Schwantz family. All through that time Jim has been beside Kevin for every important negotiation, every negotiation with any sponsor in fact. At the same time Shirley has been there to organise things, it is a very effective team.


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