Mitsuo Ito: Japan's only TT winner dies aged 82

Mitsuo Ito races at the Isle of Man TT
Mitsuo Ito won the 50cc race at the 1963 TT

The only Japanese rider to win an Isle of Man TT race has died at the age of 82, his former team has confirmed.

Mitsuo Ito took his sole TT victory with Suzuki in the 50cc category in 1963.

Organiser Simon Crellin said Ito was "an incredibly modest and polite man" who was "inextricably linked" to the TT.

Ito was inducted into the Motorcycle Federation of Japan Hall of Fame in December.

After making his TT debut in 1961, he went on to claim two second places in addition to his win.

His only other World Championship class victory came at the 1967 Japanese motorcycle grand prix.

Mitsuo Ito on the podium at the 1963 TT
Mitsuo Ito visited the podium three times at the TT

Following his retirement in 1969, Ito remained with Suzuki and had a brief spell racing cars. He later helped the manufacturer to design their Ryuyo test track.

Suzuki GB director Paul de Lusignan said that Ito was "very warm and welcoming" and that it had been "an absolute pleasure to know and spend time" with him.

The funeral will take place in Hamamatsu, Japan on Saturday.

Top Stories