DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – AMA Pro Racing has created the “Tommy Aquino Spirit Award” to preserve and honor the spirit and positive attitude of the late Tommy Aquino.
The paddock will vote for the rider who exemplifies qualities mirroring those of Aquino, including passion for the sport, fan engagement and team interaction. The award, which will be granted to the rider who best embodies the spirit of the paddock and will be presented on behalf of Cortech and SHOEI at the conclusion of the AMA Pro Road Racing season.
“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 Hiro Mizushima, president of SHOEI Safety Helmet Corp. “His personality really shined through his radiant smile, and everyone appreciated his presence. Tommy earned a place within the SHOEI family as one of us, someone we would do anything we possibly could to help out. Losing someone like Tommy is like losing one of our family members, he will truly be missed.”
“Cortech and Helmet House are honored to present this award,” said Richard Kimes, CMO and director of training for Cortech and Helmet House. “Tommy was like family to us and we’re proud to help carry on his legacy.”
“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.”
Aquino, who died from injuries suffered in a crash during training earlier this year, raced in AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike from 2009-2012, finishing inside the top five on 30 occasions and acquiring nine podium finishes.