2017 Tsukuba ST600 Race 1 Report

 #26 Zech Dzegede選手


Photo by Shigeru Mukai

Race result




I had been struggling with bringing back my confidence and with getting back into the groove of racing for the past few months.  I was still 2 seconds off my best time and couldn't wrap my head around what I was doing wrong.

Then while speaking to my mentor, he said something that made it all click together, and I remembered what I needed to do.

Sometimes I have the habit of overthinking things, and I need to understand the mechanism behind a motion to perform the motion.  It happened a lot in break dancing, it's just a lot harder to figure it out and slow things down at 200kph.

During practice I was able to get back into the swing of things and match up to my old best time.


Qualifiers went well, considering I only returned to my 2016 prime less than 24 hours prior.  I got all decked out with my new fairing design and new hand painted helmet and put out a 1:02.50, 0.02 slower than my best ever time, so not too bad.

Just a few weeks ago I added the Jam (RapidBike Japan), BabyFace, and Icon arm patches to my suit.

Placed 8th out of 11 in qualifiers, but was really hoping to get 1:01.  Hopefully I can get it in the race!


I will be having continued support for 2017 from AFG Motosports (Icon) and from Panolin Japan, so I upgraded my tent space from last year's set up to showcase those brands.  

My new fairing design is a vinyl wrapping, and during qualifiers a couple air bubbles got into the wrapping, so we had to pop a few right before the race 👀

The race started off very well for the first 100m~! I usually have good starts so I felt like I couple make a good run a gain a few places.

But then the bike to my left, as I was going to overtake, backfired and veered into my path.  At the same time the bike to my right squeezed in and I had no where to go, forcing me to let off the throttle a little.

By the end of the fist lap I was already back to 8th place, where I started but keeping a healthy distance between the two guys in front of me.

About halfway through the race, the guy in front of my runs wide and I make it up to 7th place!
I made it onto the board!

I was able to hold off the position for most of the remainder of the race, however I got passed back and sent back to 8th place.

This race was the best back-to-back 18 laps I've ever put out.
I was able to hit very close to my best time consistently and didn't feel like I was at the limit.

I'm looking forward to the next Tsukuba race in June where I can hopefully make it to the podium.

Photo by Shigeru Mukai


2016 Season End

I had been meaning to update my blog about what happened towards the end of the 2016 season but I haven't been able to get around to it until now.

Towards the end of the 2016 season I had two races consecutive races with a DNF result.

During the TT in June I overqualified with a time of 1:02.48 and disqualified myself from an official win.  However in the heat of the race I had an incident with another rider and could not finish.

Then during the ST600 Race 3, on the second turn of the first lap, a rider jackknifed his bike very close to me causing myself and another rider to go off course where we crashed.

I then soon after fixing the bike high-sided on the fastest corner at Tsukuba and this set me on a bad path of under confidence.

I finished the season with the ST600 Race 4 where I didn't perform as well as the previous races.

Now its 2017 and the new season has started, and soon I'll be posting about this new things to come!

Gotta keep moving forward, learn from my mistakes and move on :)



Icon Airframe-Pro Japan MFJ race debut!

Icon Motosports Airframe Pro (日本語訳あり) 

First official use in an MFJ race in Japan (review)

Last month the Airframe Pro by Icon Motosports got approval by MFJ to be used in races all over Japan!

先月、ICONのAIRFRAME PROヘルメットがMFJ公認となり、日本での記念すべき初公式レース、筑波選手権ST600クラスに参戦!

Icon is a world-renowned helmet and apparel company that has ruled the street and stunt world for some time now.  Before meeting the Icon distributor of Japan, AFG Motosports, I saw the brand as a stunt only brand, but I soon learned that its a misconception.
Icon is a street riding brand made For Riders, By Riders.  You can tell thats the case by their unique designs that capture biking culture and their functional yet stylish approach to product creation.
I however am a track-only rider right now, so my experience targets the few products they have released have been designed with track use in mind.

Iconは世界のトップオートバイのヘルメットとアパレルブランドとして、ストリートライダーとスタントライダー達によく知られている。アメリカに住んでいた時は、Iconはスタントのイメージしかなかったが、AFG Motosports 、Iconの日本代理店と知り合ってから、Iconはライダーが作ったライダーのためのブランドだということを知った。Iconのデザインを見ると、バイクの文化を捉え、機能的でありながらも、スタイリッシュで素晴らしいブランドということがわかる。


For the past 6 months or so I have been using the AirframePro and I love it!


Last year I was riding using the Airmada helmet while racing 250cc; it had a good design and really stood out in a crowd.  I have no complaints at all about the helmet, but when I stepped up to 600cc the way the wind flowed into the helmet at 210 km/h had my contacts drying faster than usual. There are some options for chin/nose guards that would help but it was about time to upgrade my helmet anyway.  

I contacted AFG and got an opinion which led me to the Airframe Pro!  


Without any add-on parts the helmets ventilation allows for a breeze that keeps your head cool, the screen un-fogged, and without any excess wind going into your eyes.  You can tell this helmet was designed with track use in mind.


Lifting my head out of the slipstream at 200+km/h feels extremely stable.

Along the lines of intended for track-use, the helmet has something unique that I've never seen before.  The back side has a cut-out that helps keep the helmet or your hair from rubbing against the suit hump when tucked in.  It wasn't until I tried this helmet that I realised my hair would often rub against the back of the suit.  I just thought it was an issue with my dreadlocks, but after trying the AFP my range of motion has gotten much better.


The aggressive aerodynamics and the unique styling have a lot of heads turning, especially at the track where Icon helmets have been rare.  However, since the helmet has received MFJ approval I think we'll be seeing a lot more of these in the coming months/years.