Motor Sports

Wataru Yoshikawa to race in Rossi’s absence

With Rossi out of MotoGP for a few races due to his recent crash, Fiat Yamaha team has decided to use their test rider, Wataru Yoshikawa in the upcoming MotoGP race. The two-time Japanese Superbike Champion will ride in the place of the injured Valentino Rossi, with Rossi’s team and the YZR-M1, until the Italian is back to full fitness following his broken leg.

It is expected that Yoshikawa will be with the Fiat Yamaha Team for at least three races, after which more should be known about Rossi’s expected return date.

Wataru-YoshikawaLin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing Srl, said “we have considered many different scenarios and candidate riders to fill the temporary vacant seat in the Fiat Yamaha Team. We had always planned to use a rider from within the Yamaha Motor & Tech 3 family but for each rider we considered who is in active competition, their move to the Fiat Yamaha Team would have created another problem for their own racing program or for the teams in which they are engaged. Finally, after a great deal of consideration, we have selected Wataru Yoshikawa, our Japanese YZR-M1 Test rider, to join us as our substitute rider. We provisionally plan for three races (Catalunya, Sachsenring and Laguna Seca) but we will adjust the plan accordingly when we know more about Valentino’s expected date of return.

The benefit of Wataru’s presence in our team will be threefold. Firstly he brings with him a wealth of experience riding the YZR-M1. Secondly his presence allows us to fulfill our contractual obligations and to join the team’s quest to accumulate points for the Team Championship. Thirdly he will gain valuable first hand MotoGP race experience in three challenging circuits which will surely be very useful to assist him and Yamaha with the future development of the YMR-M1.”

Wataru Yoshikawa added “I’m happy to have this chance to stand-in for Valentino while he is recovering and to compete in MotoGP again for the first time since 2002, when I raced at Motegi. Looking at the Fiat Yamaha Team results with the 2010 YZR-M1, I can see that the winter developments were correct and now I am looking forward to having the chance to gather some ‘real racing’ data, which will be very helpful for the future development of the M1.”

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