SportMotoGPPuig: "Ogura's victory in Moto2 is very important for...

Puig: "Ogura's victory in Moto2 is very important for Honda"

The MotoGP rider market is in full swing and Honda HRC, which only has Marc Márquez under contract beyond this season, continues to work on designing its line-ups for next year, in which there could be up to three new ones.

In the midst of these internal discussions, on Sunday there was news that Honda describes as “very important”, the victory of the young talent from Tokyo Ai Ogura, who at the age of 21, in his second season in Moto2, won the Grand Prix of Spain of the intermediate class.

Ogura , who emerged from the Asian promotion cups organized by the Japanese manufacturer together with Dorna, the promoter of the World Cup, reached the world championship in 2018 to contest four wildcards, becoming a permanent rider for the Honda Team Asia from 2019, achieving his first podium in Aragon.

In 2021 he made the leap to the intermediate category, becoming one of the fastest Moto2 riders, although it was not until this year that the young Japanese was able to show his talent with results, adding three podiums in the first six races of the year and, finally, reaching his first victory last Sunday in Jerez.

“This victory is very important,” assured Alberto Puig , Honda team manager, last Sunday.

“Ogura was born within the Asia Talent Cup many years ago. After all this time, seeing a rider from that championship win a Moto2 race is very important for the project itself and also for Honda,” said the former Spanish rider.

Puig, together with the HRC leadership, will be in charge of defining the riders who will defend the brand’s colors next season in the premier class and the option for Ogura to jump to the LCR team to replace Takaaki Nakagami is every time more feasible.

“We are all part of the Honda family and the people who have collaborated in this Cup and around it are very happy with their victory,” said Puig.

Nakagami, who has competed in the World Championship since 2008 and who made his MotoGP debut in 2018 with the LCR team, always under a Honda contract, has not achieved a podium finish in these five seasons, his best year being 2020, when he achieved his first and only pole position and was fighting, intermittently, for the front positions, without being able to capture his good season with a box.

At 30 years old, the rider from Chiba (Japan) is running out of opportunities and everything seems to indicate that he is speeding up his last season in MotoGP before leaving the baton to Ogura in the Idemitsu LCR-Honda formation.

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Aron Canet, Pons Racing, Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia, Tony Arbolino, Marc VDS Racing Team

Aron Canet, Pons Racing, Ai Ogura, Honda Team Asia, Tony Arbolino, Marc VDS Racing Team

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Foto de: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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