MotoGP: Takaaki Nakagami eyes 2021 championship fight

Takaaki Nakagami is hoping to improve on his impressive 2020 season with a title fight.

Takaaki Nakagami has confirmed he has eyes on the 2021 MotoGP championship following an incredibly impressive 2020 which saw him take and match his best MotoGP result of fourth place which he scored in the Andalucían and European Grand Prix’s.

He also fought for podiums and race wins, missing out on scoring the podium as he faded from P5 to P10 overall in the championship which was caused from 2 x DNF’s, crashing out of P1 in Aragon after taking the first Japanese pole position since 2004, then crashing out of the Valencian Grand Prix after an overtake went wrong and he slid out of P3, missing Pol Espargaro by millimetres.

Although these two crashes damaged his overall points haul, his sheer dedication to fight is commendable, he was crashing out of positions he only ever dreamt about when he started racing. Crashing out trying for a win or a podium in MotoGP is far more impressive than crashing out of 10th.

Speaking of 10th, Nakagami managed an impressive feat, finishing in the top 10 for every race he finished with a worst result of P10 in the season opener at Jerez, following this he finished every race within the P9-P4 area, incredible consistency from the Japanese rider on the 2019 bike.

2021 is looking incredibly good from the Tokyo man, he was given the chance to test the 2020 RC213V, you know, the one loads of riders had issues with.

After riding this ‘monster’, he had absolutely nothing negative to say about the bike which is great news for Honda but also counterproductive as it meant there was nothing extra he could add in regard to critiquing the bike in order to improve it.

This bodes well though as Honda have rewarded him with a 2020 bike for the 2021 season which will be on par with the other Honda riders due to the development freeze, giving him an even better chance to fight for the top prizes on a bike he was incredibly comfortable on.

He was incredibly positive about his season saying, “I want to thank my team as this season has been pretty tough with almost no rest, but my team prepare the bike and it’s always perfect and I appreciate every person in the team, so thanks to them.

Overall, with my performance this season compared to last season, we made a big step, so I want to thank my team again for their hard work this year.  We’re already thinking about the next season. I think we can definitely make another step forward next year and hopefully, we can fight for the championship, this is my target. See you next year!”

Featured image – LCR Honda 

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