The LCR Honda team have confirmed that Takaaki Nakagami will join them next season, partnering Cal Crutchlow as part of a two-man team.
The 25-year-old Japanese rider will get his chance in MotoGP after another stuttering campaign in Moto2. Nakagami, who has one win and twelve Moto2 podiums to his name, will make his MotoGP debut with a Honda RC213V.
Rumours earlier in the season were that Nakagami would have to finish in the top three of the Moto2 World Championship to get a MotoGP seat with Honda have proved to be false, with the Japanese rider currently seventh in the World Championship.
LCR Honda Team Principal Lucio Cecchinello has been after a second rider for quite some time after previously fielding a two man team, something he now once again has with the addition of Nakagami.
“We are very happy to confirm Takaaki Nakagami as the newest member of our team; a team which will be expanded with crew members who boast vast experience,” said Cecchinello.
“This project, alongside our current programme with Cal Crutchlow, marks the fulfilment of our sporting ambitions.
“I am truly delighted, and in the name of the whole LCR Honda Team, I think it is fair to say that we are all extremely motivated to work with a rookie like Taka, because ever since he made his debut as a youngster he has shown huge potential.
“From myself, the team, and from HRC Takaaki will have the best support possible to take on the next challenge in his career.”
Nakagami said he will continue to give his over the remainder of his Moto2 career, but couldn’t contain his excitement at being given the opportunity to join Honda.
“Since riding a pocket bike when I was four years old, I have always aimed to compete with the world’s best,” said Nakagami.
“This opportunity has become real thanks to all of my associates and fans. There are still seven Moto2 races left this season, including the Japanese Grand Prix. I’ll be concentrating on these races, while gaining the abilities I need for next year. I hope everyone will continue to support me the way they have up to now.”
Photo via LCR Honda