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48

This man won the first Moto2 race.  Ever.  This spring, in Qatar.

His name is Shoya Tomizawa.  I took this photo of him on a warm and gorgeous Friday afternoon at Indianapolis.  Nine days ago.

Shoya Tomizawa

Click on it; you can see the full-size shot.

I made sure to get a good shot of Tomizawa because I knew he was going to be a great one.  Perhaps the next great Japanese motorcycle racer, in a land hungry for one.

Today, Shoya Tomizawa died in Misano, San Marino, Italy from injuries sustained during a race.  He was nineteen years old.

So tell me.  WHO, just six days ago, wrote a defense of the sport?  Saying “it hurts, but one day I’ll watch again?”  Could it be the same guy who, the very next time he watched a race, heard an announcer at the end of it give the news of the death of a competitor?  Yet another teenager?

Today I have no words.

Rest in peace, Shoya.  It was an honor to watch you race.

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