Takaaki Nakagami will stay on with LCR Honda after securing a one-year extension in 2020 but will end the 2019 MotoGP season early.
Nakagami will continue to compete for LCR Honda IDEMITSU in MotoGP alongside Cal Crutchlow after making his debut in 2018. The Japanese manufacturer announced a one-year extension on the eve of his home grand prix at Twin Ring Motegi.
In addition to the news, Honda also confirmed that Nakagami will undergo surgery on his troubled shoulder post this weekend’s Japanese GP. It means, he will end his 2019 MotoGP season early and miss the last three rounds due to the recovery timeframe.
Nakagami has had a sound season aboard a year old Honda as he sits 12th in the standings with 74 points and a best of fifth in Italian GP. It is unclear if Nakagami will get to ride the latest Honda or continue on in the current format of one year old bike.
“First of all I am delighted to stay with Honda and the LCR Team,” said Nakagami. “I have been able to improve a lot this year and Honda have shown me great support and given me a very strong package. I am sure together we can continue this in 2020.
“About the injury, after the crash I had in Assen I found myself in some pain and lacking a bit of strength in my shoulder. I went to the doctor to fully understand the situation and while I have been able to ride with the injury, it has not been ideal so we made the difficult decision alongside Honda and the LCR Team to have this operation now.”
At the same time, Tetsuhiro Kuwata, HRC Director – General Manager Race Operations Management Division, added: “We are proud to continue to support Takaaki Nakagami in the MotoGP class for the 2020 season.
“As a rider he has continued to develop and grow throughout all of 2019. He is someone who inspires many young talents in Japan and Asia with his hard work and focus. I wish him all the best in his recovery and look forward to the 2020 season.”
Ahead of the weekend, there were reports of Nakagami having a shoulder operation which has been confirmed now but it came with the news of Johann Zarco replacing the Japanese rider for the three remaining MotoGP rounds, which hasn’t been confirmed thus far.
Here’s details of the testing schedule changes due to calendar increase