One on one with Jo Shimoda, the up and coming star from Japan

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Quiet and unassuming, Jo Shimoda, the first Japanese rider to win an SX race, sat down with NBC Sports to talk about his relationship status, what he would be doing if he wasn’t racing motorcycles, and which rider he admired as a kid.

The answer to that last question may be a little surprising.

How did you  meet your girlfriend?

How did I meet my girlfriend? I actually don’t have a girlfriend. 

What’s your middle name?

My middle name? I actually don’t have a middle name, either.

If you weren’t a motocross racer, what would you be doing?

I would probably do golfing. My grandpa and my dad love golfing and they taught me so many times, so I’d probably do golfing. 

What’s your favorite movie?

I only watch YouTube, so I don’t really watch the movies.

What’s your favorite hobby?

My favorite hobby would be golfing. And I started surfing actually, and it’s pretty fun. 

Other favorite types of racing?

I kind of like F1 right now – just because I bought the simulator the other day and it’s kind of fun.

Growing up, which rider did you want to be like?

Growing up I always wanted to be like Justin Barcia, because my kind of riding and personality is a little bit different from him. I never really do any take-outs or riding super, super aggressive, so I always wanted to be like him.

Shimoda’s less aggressive style is working for him. In addition to winning his first Supercross race in the next-to-last round of the 2021 season at Salt Lake City, Shimoda debuted in the NBC Motocross Power Rankings in fifth.

Shimoda’s ranking was based on his steady progression in the first two rounds of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross season. He finished 10th overall in the first race with a 14-11 in the two motos. His second race landed him fourth with a 6-4.

By the way: Shimoda doesn’t watch movies, but he is looking for some new music recommendations.

Starting lineup grid for IMSA Petit Le Mans: Tom Blomqvist puts MSR on pole position

Petit Le Mans lineup
IMSA
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IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar championship contender Tom Blomqvist put the Meyer Shank Racing Acura at the front of the starting lineup for the Motul Petit Le Mans at Michelin Road Atlanta.

Blomqvist turned a 1-minute, 8.55-second lap on the 2.54-mile circuit Friday to capture his third pole position for MSR this season. Earl Bamber qualified second in the No. 02 Cadillac for Chip Ganassi Racing.

Ricky Taylor was third in the No. 10 Acura of Wayne Taylor Racing, which enters Saturday’s season finale with a 19-point lead over the No. 60 of Blomqvist and Oliver Jarvis (who will be joined by Helio Castroneves) for the 10-hour race.

PETIT LE MANS STARTING GRID: Click here for the starting lineup l Lineup by car number

PETIT LE MANS: Info on how to watch

With the pole, MSR sliced the deficit to 14 points behind WTR, which will field the trio of Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque and Brendon Hartley in Saturday’s race.

“We really needed to put the car in this kind of position,” Blomqvist said. “It makes our life a little less stressful tomorrow. It would have given the No. 10 a bit more breathing space. It’s going to be a proper dogfight tomorrow. The guys gave me such a great car. It’s been fantastic this week so far, and it really came alive. I’m hugely thankful to the boys and girls at MSR for giving me the wagon today to execute my job.

“That was a big effort from me. I knew how important it was. It’s just awesome for the guys to give them some sort of reward as well. It’s always nice to be quick. If you do the pole, you know you’ve got a quick car.”

Though WTR has a series-leading four victories with the No. 10, MSR won the Rolex 24 at Daytona and has five runner-up finishes along with its three poles.

The strong performances of the ARX-05s ensure that an Acura will win the final championship in IMSA’s premier Daytona Prototype international (DPi) division, which is being rebranded as Grand Touring Prototype in the move to LMDh cars next season.

Taylor qualified third despite sliding into the Turn 5 gravel during the closing minutes of qualifying while pushing to gain points.

“Qualifying was important for points,” Taylor said. “Going into it, if we outqualified the No. 60 Meyer Shank Acura, they had a lot to lose in terms of championship points. So, we were trying to increase the gap over 20 points which would’ve made a big difference for tomorrow. We would have loved to get the pole and qualify ahead of the No. 60, but in the scheme of the points, it didn’t change a whole lot. I’m feeling good since it’s such a long race, and the No. 10 Konica Minolta Acura team does such a good job strategizing and putting us in a good position.

“I’m very confident in our lineup and our team compared to them over the course of 10 hours. I’d put my two teammates up against those guys any day. I think we are all feeling optimistic and strong for tomorrow.”

In other divisions, PR1 Mathiasen Motorsports (LMP2), Riley Motorsports (LMP3), VasserSullivan (GTD Pro) and Paul Miller Racing (GTD) captured pole positions.

The broadcast of the 10-hour race will begin Saturday at 12:10 p.m. ET on NBC, moving at 3 p.m. to USA Network.


QUALIFYING

Results

Results by class

Fastest lap by driver

Fastest lap by driver after qualifying

Fastest lap by driver and class after qualifying

Fastest lap sequence in qualifying

Best sector times in qualifying

Time cards in qualifying

PRACTICE RESULTS: Session I l Session II l Session III