MotoGP: Nakasuga set for Motegi wildcard

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Suzuka 8 Hour winner Katsuyuki Nakasuga will once again make a wildcard appearance at this year’s Japanese Grand Prix, with the factory Yamaha superbike racer riding for the Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team.

No stranger to wildcard appearances at the race, Nakasuga’s ride is normally an opportunity for the Yamaha MotoGP test rider to try out the manufacturer’s 2017 M1 machine in a race for the first time ahead of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales jumping on the machine for the first time at the post-Valencia tests.

And with Nakasuga on an incredible ten-race streak of pole positions to victories in the All-Japan Superbike class as well as his Suzuka 8 hour victory, he’s in an ideal position to make a strong impact on the series come October’s race.

“Last year I improved on my best result at the Grand Prix of Japan when I took a top-10 finish in eighth, and I was able to show how much both the YZR-M1 and I had improved. This year I‘ll again be participating as part of my development duties with the M1, but I look at it as a once-in-a-year chance to give my absolute maximum and test my skills against the world‘s top riders.

“Last year I was able to battle with my Suzuka 8 Hour teammates Pol Espargaró and Bradley Smith in the race, and this year my goal is to be in a position to battle with those guys again. Please come and cheer us on at the race, and let‘s make this year’s Grand Prix of Japan an amazing one.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer