MotoGP » Nakano to get factory Honda at Brno.
Saturday, 26th July 2008
Shinya Nakano will race a factory-prepared Honda at Brno in order to help with 2009 development.
Shinya Nakano is to be rewarded for his consistency in this year's MotoGP by getting the chance to race a third factory-backed Honda at the upcoming Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Nakano has been quietly impressive on the satellite Gresini Honda all season, scoring in every single round so far this year, a feat matched only by championship leader Valentino Rossi.
Called up to assist with the development of the satellite bikes Honda will offer to teams in 2009, Nakano was also earmarked for his communicative abilities with the Japanese engineers and technicians.
Set to compete on one of the 2008-specification machines raced by Dani Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden at Repsol Honda, it isn't certain whether Nakano will race the RC212V machine with a valve-spring engine beyond the next round at Brno, an event that resumes after the summer break.
“Shinya will have a new bike in Brno, which will basically be the base for developing the satellite version of 2009 Honda,” Fausto Gresini told MotoGP.com. “HRC will rely on our team and Shinya, as it's much easier in terms of communication with the Japanese engineers.
“For us this is obviously a privilege and the fruit of the close collaboration that has been going on for years between the Honda Gresini team and HRC.”
Where this leaves Andrea Dovizioso is unclear though. The JiR Team Scot rider has been consistently the best of the satellite Honda contingent this year and was tipped to get the chance to sample factory machinery as a reward.
However, paddock rumours suggest the reasons behind choosing Nakano over Dovizioso, who is fifth in the overall standings, is because the Italian rider already has his future assured, possibly with Repsol Honda if Hayden completes his widely tipped switch to Ducati.