Elias joined by Akiyoshi at Honda’s home track

 In MotoGP, News

The Japanese Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi, Honda’s home track, was originally the third on the calendar in late April, but was rescheduled due to the massive and catastrophic earthquake that hit the East Japan area early in the season. In addition to the riders participating in every Championship round (Repsol Honda Team: Dani Pedrosa, Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner, San Carlo Gresini Team: Marco Simoncelli and Hiroshi Aoyama, LCR Team: Toni Elias), HRC test riders Shinichi Ito and Kousuke Akiyoshi will also join the Motegi race this weekend. The first one will ride as a wild card entry on an HRC Team, while Akiyoshi will ride alongside Toni Elias for LCR Honda MotoGP Team.

The 36-year Japanese rider already experienced the MotoGP making his debut in 2006 as a wild card. Besides that Akiyoshi won the 2007 Suzuka 8 Hours competition and rode for 5 years in the National SBK Championship proceeding also his commitment as HRC test rider.

Toni Elias: “What happened in Japan some months ago is simply incredible and racing in Motegi, despite the difficulty, is our way to help Japanese people to get back to their normal life. Motegi race track is a magnificent venue and I have experienced the podium in 2007 aboard a MotoGP bike. We arrive in Japan with high motivation despite the difficult overall situation but our aim is to close the gap to the front”.

Lucio Cecchinello: “First of all I would like to thank HRC because they have asked our cooperation for next Motegi GP. We feel proud to give our support taking another Japanese racer on the grid and I hope this will give further motivation to the Japanese fans that are still facing a tough moment after the disaster of last March.”

Source: LCR Honda

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