Takaaki Nakagami has been retained by LCR Honda for the 2019 MotoGP season, it has been announced ahead of Japanese Grand Prix.
Nakagami joined LCR in 2018 when the team expanded to two bikes alongside Cal Crutchlow. The Japanese rider has had a decent debut season but is yet to break into the Top 10 with a best of 12th on multiple occasions.
“First of all I am really happy to continue with LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team in 2019,” said Nakagami. “A big thank you goes to our sponsor IDEMITSU for its great support and of course to Honda HRC for believing in my skills and providing a competitive technical package.
“This Team is very professional and I could not ask for more in my debut season in the premier class, so I am very happy to continue with Lucio and his crew. I can’t wait to start the new season but at the same time I am very focused on my home race in Motegi and the last races of this 2018 championship.”
LCR Honda’s team principal Lucio Cecchinello, said: “We are very happy that IDEMITSU and Honda HRC have renewed their support to Nakagami for next season because it was a real pleasure working with him in his first experience in the major category.
“Debuting in the MotoGP class is not an easy transition for a rider because the level is extremely high but Taka has demonstrated very remarkable skills and a will to learn, finishing quite often as the best Rookie of the category.
“On behalf of the whole Team I would like to express my deepest gratitude to IDEMITSU and Honda HRC for giving us the chance to continue our journey with Taka and succeed in the new challenges ahead.”
HRC Director Tetsuhiro Kuwata added: “We’re very happy to announce that Nakagami will continue riding with the LCR Honda Team in 2019. He’s in his rookie season and we know that is a huge challenge for every rider, but even so he’s already showed his skills.
“He’s still learning and improving day by day in the toughest category in motorcycle racing and we are pretty confident we will see his experience on track in the future. We wish him and the LCR Honda MotoGP Team all the best for the remainder of this season and now look forward to enjoying our home race in Motegi this weekend.”