Nakagami to remain at LCR Honda in MotoGP next season

The LCR Honda team has announced that Takaaki Nakagami will remain with the team for the 2023 MotoGP season, ending rumours that Ai Ogura will step up next year.

Nakagami to remain at LCR Honda in MotoGP next season

Nakagami’s future had been thrown into doubt amid a difficult fifth season in the premier class aboard the troublesome 2022 iteration of the Honda RC213V.

The Japanese rider lies 16th in the standings ahead of this weekend’s Aragon round with a pair of seventh-place finishes at Jerez and Le Mans standing as his best results of the season so far, albeit second of the Honda contingent behind Marc Marquez.

LCR’s second Idemitsu-sponsored bike had been tipped for some time to go to Ai Ogura, who rides for Honda Team Asia in Moto2 and currently lies second in the standings.

However, it’s thought that Ogura was reluctant to make the step up to MotoGP in 2023 in light of Honda’s current competitive slump in the top class.

Now LCR has confirmed Nakagami will stay on board for 2023 alongside the already-confirmed Alex Rins, who replaces Alex Marquez at the team.

“I am very happy to be able to continue racing in MotoGP in 2023 with LCR Honda Idemitsu,” said Nakagami. “I would like to thank Idemitsu and Honda HRC for their continuous support. 

Takaaki Nakagami, Team LCR Honda

Takaaki Nakagami, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

“I am looking forward to the next season, and I will give it everything to achieve the best results with the team. Meanwhile, for the rest of this season, I will continue to work hard to improve my performance.”

Team boss Lucio Cecchinello added: “We are very pleased with this announcement, since 2020 Taka has proved to be a very fast rider able to fight for podium positions and this year he has consistently fought to finish as the top Honda rider. 

“I trust in his potential and thanks to his six years of experience riding the Honda RCV213 motorbike, he will definitely help the LCR Honda Idemitsu Team and HRC to improve our bike package and to close the gap with our competitors.”

Ogura is expected to remain in Moto2 for another season in 2023, despite only trailing championship leader Augusto Fernandez by four points.

Fernandez appears set to be the only rider moving up from the intermediate class to MotoGP next year after landing a ride with the rebranded GasGas Tech 3 team.

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