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This blog is a way of remember the Japanese MotoGP rider Daijiro Kato
(Saitama, Japan, July 4th, 1976 - Yokkaichi, Japan, April 20, 2003).
Kato raced in the 250cc class of MotoGP as a wildcard rider between 1996 and 1999 in Japanese Grand Prix in Suzuka (winning on 1997 and 1998), and he became a regular rider on this class in 2000 year, entering on the team of Fausto Gresini with the factory of HRC.
He became the champion of 2001 season of 250cc class, as well the person with most victories in a same season on this class: 11 from 16 races.
Kato entered on the newly formed MotoGP class (who replaced the old 500cc class) in 2002 year, again with the team of Fausto Gresini. Initially he used a old bike of the old category, but he got two podiums on that season and he became the "Rookie of the Year" with the 7th place in the season. For 2003 year he received the official bike of HRC, the same who had other riders like Valentino Rossi.
Unfortunately, he had a serious crash in the first race of 2003 season, in Suzuka (April 6th, 2003), and he went to comma, until he died two weeks after.
Since then, his race number, 74, was banned of the championship.