Last year I spent the day riding alongside Moto Sasaki when I was at the Yokohama mm21 spot right before the KOG finals with Sam, Mislav, and our host Aki, watching this guy ride for a day outside of the contests was more interesting to me than watching the contest riding in my opinion, Moto can do so many tricks, and he’s now able to throw his skills back in the original switches. I remember saying to Sam, look he just did all of Matthias’ tricks with ease right after the sevisual video with Adam Kun came out last year, he later threw a massive combo, with Switch foot karl jump frame to xft halfpacker pivot to steam with epic ease, his control amazed us. Like a ninja, quietly going about his business. It’s my pleasure to bring this interview to you, one of the most skilled riders in Japan, Moto Sasaki…My prediction….if this can can match the skills with personal belief, he can be a massive force in flatland.
FM) How old are you?
M) Date of Birth: 5/5/1985, 24 years old
FM) How long riding?
M) 6 years.
FM) What got you into riding?
M) i got my bike stolen then i bought a bike that was a BMX
FM) Whereabouts in Japan are you from? Hows the flatland scene there?
M) Maihama, Chiba. very close to Disneyland, there are not large number of riders here in Chiba if it compares to other prefectures in Japan. Chiba has more good riders (chiba has the most king of ground pro riders in japan) than other prefectures though. we dont get together to ride often we are kind of spread out in Chiba so…
FM) Do you ride on your own mostly? Or with other riders?
M) i like riding with other riders but at the same time, i like riding by myself and enjoy it with my own way.
i often ride with Yasunari Ishijima (jimalog guy) at night.
FM) What got you into flatland?
M) Well, i think every riders has their own way to enjoy their riding,some riders think bmx as fashion, others think riding as a sport. To me, flatland bmx is like playing a computer game, getting new tricks like clearing the stages then i can go to the next stage,thats how i enjoy riding.
FM) From the few times i’ve seen you ride, its evident you can do a lot of pros tricks, explain why you do that?
M) I do that intentionally, I’m learning a lot from them, getting their ways to keep a balance and ideas that lead my original tricks. It’s said to be that the originality is the most important in japanese contest scene.
I dont think i’m always right, but, in my opinion original tricks are beyond skills.
When I went to the masters, I felt the physical difference between top riders and me. If I only ride to pursue the originalty I can’t reach to their riding in contestwise.
When i got back from the masters I was thinking about the styles, then my choise is that I lean every ways to keep the balance and cover up the physical difference with it. And.. to be honest, I had hard time to understand the judges before. I thought like if i have skills, i can pass judgment about results, because I know which tricks are harder, so I judge at KOG expert class.
“To me, flatland bmx is like playing a computer game, getting new tricks like clearing the stages then i can go to the next stage,thats how i enjoy riding.”
FM) Which tricks have you made up yourself?
M) Switches from x-footed half packer (Switch foot karl jump to xft halfpacker for example) and jumping switches…(infamous Moto pedal 5 jump to steam)
FM) What are your plans with riding?
M) I just want to see how far i can go with my riding.
FM) Who supports you with riding?
M) I’m riding for JYKKJAPAN (bmx distributor), SUELO(bmx brand), UBIQSHOES(shoes brand),SLOPESHOT(bmx shop).
FM) What inspires you with flatland?
M) i only do flatland. coz flatland has countless tricks, infinity styles and possibilities.
i like street too. but,i put so much energy and time on flatland and i dont think I will ever get sick of flatland.
FM) Which riders do you look up to for inspiration?
M) Trevor Meyer is my favorite rider, when I first saw him riding on flatland manifesto, I got a big impact from him.
Other riders I get inspiration from are Hotoke, Keisuke Tanigawa and Shuichi Osada.
Hotoke, his sense of proportion is insane. Shuich Osad has a great concept on his tricks.
And Keisuke Tanigawa, he is the same age as me, he is definitely the most skilled rider in Japan, I respect them.
FM) Do you travel much to ride? I remember we saw you at the yokohama spot last year..
M) Basically, i ride at my spot the most. Yeah, I was there at the yokohama mm21, just because you and sam were there…
FM) Do you like the battle style contests, or prefer the 3 minure run style contest format?
M) It depends on the battle time, but I prefer the 3 minutes run rather than head to head battle.
In japanese contests, there are not enough time to try harder tricks because the run time is short so consistency is more important.If i were audience, I understand the two mins runs mean and I wouldn’t like to see mistakes… but I’m a rider who wants to see the best trick!
Especially, KOG battle format, one min two runs each battle and the combo in progress after beep isnt evaluated.
I’ve seen many good riders lost the battle with trying hard trick and making one or two mistakes, it’s like they lost against the battle format.
I feel sorry for them sometimes…
FM) Any rider you are scared to battle?
M) scared?? i would say… Keisuke Tanigawa and Hotoke. Despite I’ve been riding 8 hours a day everyday since I started riding, they are obviously better than me and have original tricks, love riding.
I had felt down about it before, we are friends now and I dont think i’m scared of them anymore. I reckon them among my rivals. I dont want to lose against them more than any other riders, they have always motivated me. I think their existance made me better, so i kind of appreciate them.