Takaaki Nakagami gets sixth season at LCR Honda for 2023 MotoGP

Takaaki Nakagami retains his place in the LCR Honda team for the 2023 MotoGP season as the Japanese firm chooses experience to help develop RC213V

Takaaki Nakagami - LCR Honda

Takaaki Nakagami will retain his place in the LCR Honda team for the 2023 MotoGP World Championship for what will be his sixth season in the premier class with the Monegasque team.

Now a relative veteran in MotoGP terms having made his debut with the Honda satellite squad back in 2018, Nakagami has developed into a familiar front runner over the past five seasons, even if he is still chasing his first podium at this level.

Nevertheless, Nakagami can claim a MotoGP pole position to his name, while he has come close to the rostrum on numerous occasions with ten top five results since 2018.

“I am very happy to be able to continue racing in MotoGP in 2023 with LCR Honda IDEMITSU. I would like to thank IDEMITSU and Honda HRC for their continuous support. 

“I am looking forward to the next season, and I will give it everything to achieve the best results with the team. Meanwhile, for the rest of this season, I will continue to work hard to improve my performance.”

The decision to keep Nakagami - who will partner the incoming Alex Rins next season - comes after Honda’s original plan to promote its Japanese protege Ai Ogura was put on ice for a season.

The youngster is considered one of GP racing’s most exciting talents having finished just four points off title winner Tony Arbolino in the Moto3 World Championship in 2020, while he is in strong contention for this year’s Moto2 title.

However, with Honda in the midst of its worst form of the modern MotoGP era having gone the wrong way on development with its latest evolution RC213V package, it is understood the manufacturer is keen to improve the package before allowing its talent to race on it.

Moreover, with Rins and fellow Suzuki exile Joan Mir joining the Honda ranks next season, plus question marks over Marc Marquez’s fitness, potentially slowing down this process initially next season, it has chosen to retain at least one fit and experienced representative among its MotoGP elite.

“We are very pleased with this announcement, since 2020 Taka has proved to be a very fast rider able to fight for podium positions and this year he has consistently fought to finish as the top Honda rider,” said LCR boss Lucio Cecchinello

“I trust in his potential and thanks to his six years of experience riding the Honda RCV213 motorbike, he will definitely help the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team and HRC to improve our bike package and to close the gap with our competitors.”