With the paddock reconvened at the Motorland Aragon circuit in Alcañiz, Shoya Tomizawa's tragic death at the last race in Misano is still very much at the forefront of everybody's minds. During the traditional pre-event press conference, Gresini Moto2 rider Toni Elias proposed a fitting tribute to the fallen Technomag CIP rider. The Spaniard suggested that Tomizawa be posthumously awarded the Michel Metraux trophy, presented to the best privateer of the season, in recognition of his achievements and as a mark of respect.
Elias' proposal has been made possible by a recent change in the system for awarding the trophy, which previously went to the best-placed privateer in the 250cc class. With all of the Moto2 riders now officially privateers, the system has been changed to peer selection system, with all of the riders in the Moto2 class choosing their best rider of the year at the end of the season.
"I would like to ask all my fellow riders in Moto2 to vote for Shoya and dedicate this award to him," Elias told the press conference, a request that was met with a round of applause from the assembled press. Also attending the press conference to back up Elias call were all of the Japanese riders in the paddock, including Hiroshi Aoyama, Tomoyoshi Koyama and Yuki Takahashi.
Afterwards Aoyama spoke of his sadness at Tomizawa's death, and of his determination to keep on racing. "I feel very sad," Aoyama said. "But we have to look at it like Shoya. He was always smiling and happy at the races, and we must try to be like him, and race on."