One of the world's finest freestyle motocross riders has lost in life in a practice crash at his home in Japan, casting a pall over the sport

Australian Robbie Maddison has paid tribute to his freestyle motocross compatriot Eigo Sato, who sustained fatal injuries on February 28 while practicing near his home in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture.

The 31-year-old, Japan’s only big-name FMX rider, was transported to hospital where he later passed away.

Maddison said on Twitter: “Rest in peace my dear friend Eigo! Shocked by this tragic news. The freestyle community has lost another hero. May we all help his young family get through this.”

Sato had been regular in the Red Bull X-Fighters invitational FMX title since 2007, where he enjoyed some great battles with Maddison. Sato’s best title finish was fourth in 2009, and in 27 starts he reached 17 quarter-finals, six semi-finals and two finals – both in 2009, where he was bested by Maddison and New Zealander Levi Sherwood in successive rounds.

RIP Eigo.

Published : Sunday, 3 March 2013
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