In any discussion about the pioneers of AMA Superbike racing, one of the first names that comes to mind is Pops Yoshimura. Yoshimura’s name is inextricably tied with superbike racing in the United States and Japan. His superbikes were winners from the very beginning of AMA Superbike racing and the Suzuki factory team run through his business, Yoshimura R&D of America, became one of the most successful in the history of Superbike racing. In addition to winning numerous AMA Superbike titles, the team has also won championships in the Japanese Superbike Championships and has won on the world level in World Superbike as well as the prestigious Suzuka Eight Hour.
Hideo Yoshimura was born October 7, 1922 in Fukuoka City, Japan. As a very young man, Yoshimura was called into military service and began training as a Navy pilot. A parachute accident during training kept Yoshimura from becoming a pilot. As it turns out, the training accident might have been one of the most fortunate things to happen to him. Instead of flying planes during World War II, Yoshimura was trained to work on them. He became a top engine mechanic.
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