In the wake of the tragic death of factory road racing prodigy Tommy Aquino, AMA Pro Racing has announced the introduction of the Tommy Aquino Spirit Award. In order to honor and preserve Aquino’s memory and positive attitude, the award will be given to the rider “who best embodies the spirit of the paddock during the 2014 season.”
According to AMA Pro Racing, “the paddock will vote for the rider who exemplifies qualities mirroring those of Tommy including passion for the sport, fan engagement and team interaction. The award will be presented on behalf of Cortech and Shoei at the conclusion of the 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season.”
The 21 year old’s positive attitude and humble demeanor left a lasting impression on everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.
“Over the past eight years we have had the pleasure of working with Tommy Aquino, but he was much more than just another Shoei athlete,” said President of Shoei Safety Helmet Corporation Hiro Mizushima. His personality really shined through his radiant smile, and everyone appreciated his presence.”
Best known for his competition in the GoPro Daytona SportBike series from 2009-2012, Aquino was an up and coming talent in the road racing world, taking 30 top five finishes, nine career podium finishes, and competing the British National series in 2013.
Aquino’s death occurred after a head on collision with another motorcycle during a practice session at the Piru Motocross Park in Southern California in early February, but as devastating as his death was, those who knew him are doing their best to keep his memory alive.
“I want to thank both Cortech and Shoei for their gracious gesture in the name and spirit of Tommy Aquino,” said David McGrath, Senior Director of Competition, AMA Pro Racing. “Tommy brought youth, levity and an uplifting spirit to our community. His good nature and infectious smile are fondly remembered by all. He is and will be sorely missed.”
Source: AMA Pro Racing; Photo: © 2012 Daniel Lo / Corner Speed Photo – All Rights Reserved