What happened to it: Tetsuya Harada

New episode and new protagonist. This time we go to Montecarlo to find a Japanese who has become a YouTuber today and offers advice on how to have fun on a motorcycle and is a great friend of Loris Capirossi. We are talking of course of Tetsuya Harada, 250 champion in 93, vice champion in 98 and with a past also in 500 / MotoGP

The beginnings

Born in Chiba on June 14, 1970, he started racing from a very young age. In 1988 he became national champion in the junior 125 category and in 1990 he was noticed by Yamaha which took him to the 250 World Championship in Japan. In the two-year period 90-91 he was Japanese vice champion 250 while in 1992 he won the national category title.

The World Championship: the 250

Debut as wild card in the opening race of the World 90 in Japan with a Yamaha, finishing in seventh place. The following year is still wild card in the home race and improves the ranking of the previous year crossing the finish line in sixth position.

Another wild card in the home race in 1992 but this time without seeing the finish line.

The victory of the 92 national title definitively opens the doors to the World 93 per Harada. E Tetsuya repays the confidence of the Iwata manufacturer by winning the title on the first shot after an incredible duel throughout the season with Loris Capirossi: 197 points, 4 wins and 7 total podiums. One of the few drivers to succeed in winning the title in the first full season.

94, on the other hand, was a complicated year for Harada: he manages to hit 3 podiums but a few injuries and a few too many withdrawals keep him away from the positions that matter. Closes seventh with 109 points and Biaggi snatching table number 1 from him

After a difficult 94, Tetsuya starts loaded for 95. A victory and 8 second places allow him to close in second place in the world behind Biaggi with 220 points against the Roman’s 283.

Season 96 got off to a strong start with victory in Indonesia and two second places in 4 races but some retirements too many in the second half of the season make him close his adventure in Yamaha in 8th place with 104 points.

Towards the end of 1996 he made an agreement with Aprilia for the following seasons. In 97 he became official driver of the Noale manufacturer alongside Loris Capirossi.

At the end of that year comes an important third place world champion behind Biaggi and Waldmann with 235 points, 3 wins and 9 total podiums. It is the prelude to a total clash with his 98 teammates Capirossi and Rossi, who passed in 250 after the title in 125.

The third place in 97 loads the Japanese towards a new world championship laurel in the quarter-liter. He fights all year with his teammates until the end of the race in Argentina.

The race is won by Valentino Rossi but to rise to the headlines is the contact with Capirossi who gives the title to the latter. From that moment Loris and Tetsuya will not talk to each other again, strong is the feeling of “hatred” of the Japanese towards the Italian for that maneuver of the last lap.

In 2001 he returned in 250 after two fairly anonymous years in the 500 with Aprilia and hits the platonic title of vice champion behind compatriot and late Daijiro Kato with 3 wins and 13 total podiums.

The 500

The disappointment for the outcome of the 98 World Cup is great but it is “compensated” with the move to Top Class for 1999. With the twin-cylinder from Noale the Japanese lives a good first season of debut seasoned by the two podiums (France and Donington) and two fourth places (Mugello and Barcelona) closed in 10th place with 104 points.

The following season, on the other hand, is more complicated: Tetsuya collects only 38 points for a sad 16th final position.


After the 2001 season which saw him finish second behind Kato in 250, for Harada the doors of the Top Class re-open, this time called MotoGP. In fact, in 2002 he was hired by the Pramac Honda team to drive an NSR500. The season is rather anonymous: in fact, he collects only 47 points for a sad 17th final position.

At the end of the season, opt to hang your helmet on a nail and withdraw from competitive activity. His career ends with 1 World Championship, 17 victories, 55 podiums, 21 poles, 1546 points obtained in 145 races..

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