Like his peers, 20-year-old Ono had dreamt of racing in the world series for as long as he could remember. A Suzuka Racing Series GP125 Champion when he was 14, followed by two consistent top-three finishes in the GP125 class of the All Japan Championship in 2008 and 2009 had given Ono a first crack at an international career when he was given the opportunity to race with Team Careta Technology in the GP125 class of the Campianato Italiano Velocita (CIV). Finishing 5th overall in the CIV in 2010 brought Ono to the GP125 class of the MotoGP for the first four rounds of the 2011 season. After a DNF in Losail, an 8th placing in Jerez, 17th in Estoril and 16th at Le Mans, Ono was back in the CIV for the rest of 2011.
So far, the dream had seemed elusive - not for lack of talent, but a lack of funds. When news filtered through to Ono about the plans for the Asia Dream Cup, he immediately recognised it as the big break that he had been looking for. "I learnt plenty from the two years I spent in Europe, and I felt ready for bigger challenges. Just at a time when I was searching for a chance to boost my career, I heard about the Asia Dream Cup with its promise of Moto3 wildcards as its main prize. Rather than stay in Europe trying to break into the world series on my own, this (the Asia Dream Cup) seemed to me a clearer path to achieving my dreams. It was a gamble, because I had already begun to make a name for myself in the European racing circles, but I felt that it was a gamble worth taking," said Ono.
With that, Ono packed his bags and returned home to Asia. "The Asia Dream Cup will be my only racing commitment this year. I want to focus on this class 100%. I believe that it will propel me to greater things to come."
It is said that the only thing that differentiates a champion and an average competitor is the ability to recognise when the 'moment' arrives.