Akira Narita, 34 Aomori, Japan Sponsors: HRC, Dunlop, Showa, Monster Energy, Motul, Hinson, DID, Kashima, Alpine Stars Akira Narita is a 9 time All-Japanese national champion and is no stranger to racing in the US. On top of the 9 titles in his homeland, Narita has made many excursions across the Pacific to race in supercross and the outdoor nationals, which includes a 3rd place finish at the 2005 Anaheim 125 SX. In 2013, Narita again came over to race some selected early rounds of supercross. At the Glen Helen round of the Muscle Milk/TWMX Summer Cup, Narita came out to get some race laps at the infamous track. Watching Narita on the track, he rides with precision, and even in the motos late in the day, he had perfect form as he raced to the victory in the 450 Pro Class. We once again recruited our friend Masa Shirotani to translate for us and stopped by Narita’s pit in-between motos. What brings you to the Muscle Milk/Transworld Summer Cup race? My friend Masa talked me into coming out and racing today and I thought it would be fun What brings you over to the US during the break in the All-Japan series? I am over here training for the rest of the season back in Japan. I am riding my mountain bike everyday to train, climbing Skyline almost every day. I can make it to the top of Skyline in 40 minutes, the same time as a Japanese national race. How are you doing in the All-Japan series so far this year? I am leading the series points so far this year. You have 9 All-Japan titles so far and working on your 10th. How long are you going to continue racing? I do not know, I am not ready to slow it down yet. Are you still having fun and enjoy racing? Yeah, I still very much enjoy it. You have come over here and raced supercross and outdoor nationals several times in your career, are you going to continue to do that when you get the chance? No more supercross! I do want to come back and race the outdoor nationals again if I have a chance. Was it difficult to prepare for supercross in Japan?
There are no supercross tracks in Japan so it is not easy to get ready to race. I am also too old for that!
When you race a works bike in Japan, is it difficult to come to the US and race a stock bike?
I brought the factory bike with me from Japan.
Are you over here testing or did you just bring it over to race?
I brought it over here just to do some racing and also just to get in some riding to get ready for the next rounds of the Japanese series.
How different is the racing over here compared to Japan?
The biggest difference is that the tracks in the US are much bigger than they are in Japan. Everyone is also so fast in the US, there is much more competition.
Are the tracks in Japan the same as here only shorter?
They are much smaller in Japan but similar style.
What other things do you do when you aren’t racing or riding?
I like to golf and also surf when I have time.
How is racing a local race like this compared to racing one of the All-Japan races?
There is no pressure, it is much more fun.
When you come to a race like this in the US and see the kids racing, how does that compare to Japan?
The kids here start much younger than they do in Japan. Motocross isn’t as popular there so the kids that race start when they are older.