Secretly harboring feelings for her, he entered the race to protect her from danger. If, by a stroke of luck, he wins the Grand Prix, he’s even considered proposing.
In his youth, John studied at the University of Io under Mason Summer, the famed inventor of the G-Diffuser anti-gravity system. Working with the professor meant getting to know his daughter, Jody Summer with whom John quickly fell in love. He even used the G-Diffuser system to develop a commercially-available flying robot known as the J-love-1 (featured in picture). However, after Mason Summer died during a mysterious crash to Leonid University, John vowed to look after Jody.
Unfortunately Jody needed no looking after, as she was quite the independent woman. John Tanaka ended up in the same unit as Jody Summer in the Galactic Federation where he got a job as a mechanic. His feelings for Jody are still a secret and he joined the F-Zero races for the sole reason of protecting her.