Yoshikawa will treat race like a test

Yamaha's substitute rider Wataru Yoshikawa says he is 'honoured' to stand in for Valentino Rossi but is regarding his three-race stint in the factory race seat primarily as a data gathering exercise

Yoshikawa will treat race like a test

The 41-year-old Japanese rider has been part of Yamaha's development programme for most of the past decade and only has a handful of top-level MotoGP and World Superbike starts to his name, although he won two Japanese Superbike titles in the 1990s.

He was given the works Yamaha MotoGP chance after other Yamaha-contracted riders - such as Tech 3's Ben Spies and Superbike star Cal Crutchlow - expressed misgivings about being temporarily thrust into Rossi's seat without adequate preparation.

Yamaha has said from the outset that it believes giving Yoshikawa some race experience will boost his development work, as well as fulfilling its contractual obligation to field a second bike, and Yoshikawa said he would take a testing mindset into his races.

"I am very honoured to be riding in place of Valentino, and I'm also very happy to come into this competition," he said during his first press briefing at Assen, which was conducted via an interpreter.

"I want to do my best first of all, and also I want to improve the M1. During these races I want to collect as much real data as I can.

"Of course this has been my dream since I was a child, but at the same time, I will do my best at my job."

He acknowledged that he was significantly older than most of the riders and had a very different background, but was open-minded about how he would fare.

"In a way it's going to be like riding with my son!" Yoshikawa joked. "But I think I can still get a lot from this race and I want to think positively."

Yoshikawa is currently slated to ride for Yamaha at Catalunya, the Sachsenring and Laguna Seca, with Rossi hoping to be fit to return for Brno.

shares
comments
Q & A with Jorge Lorenzo

Previous article

Q & A with Jorge Lorenzo

Next article

Lorenzo expects Rossi to join Ducati

Lorenzo expects Rossi to join Ducati
Load comments
How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda Plus

How KTM has wrestled control of young MotoGP talent from Honda

There once was a time when Honda controlled any young rider who emerged in motorcycling, but its market dominance has now swung to the side of MotoGP rival KTM and, to a lesser extent Ducati. Could this development have significant ramifications for the future?

MotoGP
Oct 12, 2021
Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider Plus

Why Marc Marquez has to reinvent himself as a MotoGP rider

Marc Marquez's romp to victory at the Grand Prix of the Americas led many to believe the 'old' pre-injury Honda rider was close to coming back to his full powers. However, the 'old' Marquez will probably never exist again and instead he'll have to adapt to his new reality to return to title-winning ways in 2022

MotoGP
Oct 6, 2021
The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream” Plus

The Marquez self-preservation that fulfilled a COTA MotoGP “dream”

Marc Marquez scorched to his seventh Circuit of the Americas victory in MotoGP last Sunday with a display reminiscent of his pre-injury form. However, his path to the win across the weekend was in keeping with the current reality of his physical limitations, with self-preservation on Saturday key to his Sunday success

MotoGP
Oct 4, 2021
How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike Plus

How Ducati has developed MotoGP's most versatile bike

His third place at Misano made Enea Bastianini the fifth different Ducati-mounted rider to score a podium in 2021. Amid a season that has seen one rider amass the bulk of Yamaha and Honda's success, the Ducati's versatility makes for a potent weapon, but the contribution of a former leading light shouldn't be forgotten

MotoGP
Sep 23, 2021
The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career Plus

The next steps in the rebuilding of a stalled MotoGP career

Maverick Vinales’ early debut with Aprilia has been one of the most interesting plots of the recent MotoGP rounds. The results may not look standout on paper, but a closer inspection reveals just how much progress Vinales has truly made in understanding a bike that has taken him well out of his “comfort zone”

MotoGP
Sep 22, 2021
How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest Plus

How ‘El Diablo’ and ‘the Beast’ starred in MotoGP’s Misano contest

On a day each of the podium trio could claim to be the star of the show, the San Marino Grand Prix will be remembered as a pivotal race in both MotoGP’s present and future. While Fabio Quartararo demonstrated his world title credentials just behind Francesco Bagnaia’s flawless victory charge, a new threat emerged from the shadows

MotoGP
Sep 20, 2021
How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future Plus

How Ducati’s Aragon MotoGP win harks to its past and its future

Duelling against Marc Marquez at the Aragon Grand Prix, Francesco Bagnaia came out on top to secure a long overdue MotoGP victory. As Marquez likened Bagnaia to a Ducati title contender of old, it appears the Italian rider could finally start to fight for wins on a more regular basis

MotoGP
Sep 13, 2021
Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble Plus

Why Dovizioso is more of a temporary fix than a Yamaha gamble

OPINION: The return of Andrea Dovizioso to the grid at Misano will be an interesting subplot to the remainder of the 2021 MotoGP season. But the circumstances that have led to the former Ducati rider ending his sabbatical point to his signing being one more of convenience than a long-term commitment

MotoGP
Sep 8, 2021