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MotoGP San Marino GP

Honda rider Takahashi to fill in for injured Rins at Misano

Takumi Takahashi is set to fill in for an injured Alex Rins at the LCR Honda MotoGP team for this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix at Misano.

Takumi Takahashi, MIE Racing

Takahashi, who was part of the works Honda team that won the Suzuka 8 Hours last month, is set to make his first MotoGP appearance since he made a wildcard outing at Motegi back in 2015.

The 33-year-old Japanese rider will fill in for Rins, who is still recovering from the broken right leg he sustained in a crash in the Mugello sprint race in June.

Rins' place at LCR has been taken for the last three races by Iker Lecuona, who is unavailable this weekend due to a clash with the Magny-Cours round of the World Superbike championship.

Lecuona said previously that he would have to prioritise his Honda WSBK commitments in the event of any clashes with MotoGP, having also made two outings for the factory team in the latter series this year.

However, the young Spaniard is said to have made a good impression on Honda's engineers with his feedback and even volunteered to miss the Magny-Cours WSBK round to continue racing in MotoGP.

LCR settled on Takahashi as a replacement for Rins after making numerous enquiries about other prospective replacements, with Honda test rider Stefan Bradl also unavailable due to the fact he is set to make a wildcard outing at Misano.

Team boss Lucio Cecchinello is thought to have contacted Andrea Dovizioso about making a one-off return to MotoGP, only to be turned down, while Andrea Iannone was also contacted despite the fact he remains banned from FIM competition until mid-December.

 

Even Jorge Lorenzo's name was mooted at one stage in what became a complicated 'casting' procedure for LCR's home race.

In the absence of a big name for the event, Tetsuta Nagashima was also considered due to his past experience as a substitute at LCR last year.

However, Nagashima is due to try out parts bound for next week's crucial post-race Misano test this week at Motegi, and Honda elected not to modify these plans at the last minute.

Instead, Takahashi, who was joined in the works Honda team at Suzuka by Nagashima and WSBK regular Xavi Vierge, has been given the nod to make his first MotoGP outing for eight years.

Takahashi's main programme this season is in the Stock 1000 class of All-Japan Superbike, having returned to Japan full-time after two disappointing seasons representing Honda in British Superbike.

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