Hexenkin, the bike that nearly won the MotoGP title in 2011, will be given a last chance to show what the sport’s most rock-and-roll motorbike racer can do in the finale of the season Sunday.
The Japan-based Motorrad AMX-R co-owned by actor Takuya Kimura had a near-career-defining race in Japan in September 2011, when Kimura lost the lead on a final corner and skidded on an oil slick, narrowly missing the finish line. He had no trouble on the sand, though, and simply stopped at the end of the track for photos with the checkered flag, insisting he had no time to make up his mind about what he was going to do next.
The following year, KTM went without a single qualifier and all 12 teams were thrown out of the championship race after race director Marco Melandri opened the second sector of the track with a corner with a dangerous banking. This decision was overturned after a protest, but among the best-laid plans of dirt-and-rubber bosses was thrown to the wind.
Therefore it was only fitting that Kimura step out of Kimura’s Yamaha that year to ride under the title Honda had won in 2005. Kimura’s chance fell on his anniversary birthday, but he made the most of it by winning a memorable first MotoGP race in front of his cheering Japanese fans.
He was drafted into the DTM championship in Europe that year, but Kimura never really impressed, finishing seventh in the standings, and he struggled in the 2017 and 2018 MotoGP seasons before being forced to retire. Kimura signed a deal with Kimura to co-own the motorcycle-pushing champion of eight straight DTM titles in the offseason, but has yet to enter the championship.
Hexenkin is fifth in the Championship standings at the halfway stage. With Kimura on board he seems ready to find himself with another real shot.
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