Nakagami Will Ride A Honda RC213V in MotoGPAfter six years in Moto2, including a win at the 2016 Dutch TT, 25-year-old Takaaki Nakagami will be racing in the MotoGP class in 2018. After a three-year stint on Idemitsu Honda Team Asia in Moto2, Nakagami will join LCR Honda in MotoGP next year. Nakagami will be a contract rider with HRC.In addition to his victory, Nakagami has been on the Moto2 podium 13 times, and scored four poles. His best overall season finish in Moto2 was in 2016, when he finished the year in sixth place. Nakagami is currently seventh in the Moto2 standings.
“Since riding a pocket bike when I was four years old, I have always aimed to compete with the world’s best,” Nakagami said. “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.”HRC President Yoshishige Nomura said, “Nakagami continues his journey into 2018 as an HRC contract rider, and using his passion and riding skills to their fullest, will undoubtedly become a rider that the younger generation from Japan, and the Asia region, will aspire to be like. I believe his dreams will drive him to become a top-class rider who will impress many fans.”Katsuhide Moriyama, Corporate Executive Officer and Director of Brand Communications Division, Honda Motor Company said, “I am very pleased Nakagami will be racing in the premier class. His outstanding performance, serious attitude towards racing and consistently aggressive riding style were all considerations. I believe that by Asian riders competing on the world stage, Honda can make a big contribution to the promotion of motor sports in the Asia region including Japan. I wish him success in his new stage, and hope that he develops into a Grand Prix rider that the younger generation can aspire to.”A sensation early in his career, Nakagami won the Japanese 125cc Championship in 2006 at age 14, the youngest rider to win that title. He came through the ranks as part of the Red Bull MotoGP Academy.