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Obituary

Suzuka 8 Hours podium finisher Haruki Noguchi dies aged 22

Japanese Superbike racer Haruki Noguchi has died following a crash in last weekend's Mandalika round of the Asia Road Racing Championship.

Haruki Noguchi

Noguchi was involved in a crash at Turn 10 on the fourth lap Sunday's second Superbike race at the Indonesian circuit, which led to the race being stopped and ultimately cancelled.

After receiving treatment at the medical centre, he was transferred to Nusa Tenggara Barat hospital, where he sadly succumbed to his injuries on Wednesday evening. He was 22 years old.

Noguchi's passing comes just 10 days after he finished third in the Suzuka 8 Hours alongside SDG Honda team-mates Teppei Nagoe and Naomichi Uramoto, replacing the injured Yuki Kunii.

The trio were later promoted to second when the Toho Racing squad was disqualified.

#73 SDG Racing Honda

#73 SDG Racing Honda

Photo by: Kusudo Aki

Noguchi rose to prominence in 2017 when he finished runner-up in the Asia Talent Cup to Deniz Oncu. The following year, he again placed second overall, this time losing out to Billy van Eerde.

In 2019, Noguchi contested the Red Bull Rookies Cup and placed third in the standings behind Carlos Tatay and Pedro Acosta.

Returning to his native Japan in 2020, Noguchi raced in the Superstock 600 category of the All-Japan Superbike series and won the title in 2021.

He progressed to Superbikes in 2022 in the Asia Road Racing Championship, finishing second overall for the HARC Pro-run SDG team, and remained with the same team for the 2023 campaign.

Noguchi was running second in the championship behind BMW rider Markus Reiterberger heading into last weekend's Mandalika round, the fourth of the season, having won the opening two races at Buriram.

HARC Pro team director Kotaro Honda commented: "I still can't believe we have to make this announcement.

"Only 10 days ago, we experienced the honour of standing together on the podium of the Suzuka 8 Hours, and we had just sent him off to Indonesia willing him on to win this year's Asia Road Racing title.

 

"Just 22 years old and with limitless potential, I had high hopes that he would step up to the world stage as Asia's next-generation hope.

"It's regrettable that he passed away so soon while he was in the middle of this journey."

HARC Pro will take part in this weekend's Japan Superbike round at Motegi as normal with Nagoe in the JSB1000 class.

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