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Yamano explains decision to draft in Akiyoshi for test

Yamano explains decision to draft in Akiyoshi for test

Repsol Honda Team Manager Kazuhiko Yamano has explained the thinking behind putting Kosuke Akiyoshi on the factory RC212V at this weekend’s Official MotoGP Test.

With the injured Dani Pedrosa out of action for the time being Andrea Dovizioso and the Repsol Honda team need all the help they can get as they make their final preparations for the 2009 season.

Heading to the Official MotoGP Test this weekend the team have therefore drafted in former Suzuki test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi to assist new boy Dovizioso with his work schedule.

Team boss Kazuhiko Yamano explained, “This is an important test and we’re looking to use these two days to maximum effect as we approach the start of the season. The team gathered a lot of useful data at the previous tests in Sepang and Qatar and it’s our intention to make significant progress in this final preseason test.”

Yamano continued, “Dani won’t be riding because it’s important he recovers fully after his operation, and so Kosuke Akiyoshi will ride Dani’s machine. Although in a perfect world Dani would be testing here, we’re confident that Kosuke can ably assist Andrea with our development programme for the RC212V.”

The team have revealed that Akiyoshi will ride Pedrosa’s machine (displaying the race number 64) and will continue building on the technical data gathered at the previous preseason outings. The Japanese test rider will take part in the free practice sessions on Saturday and Sunday, but not in Sunday’s MotoGP BMW M Award (Official Practice) showdown session.

Pedrosa, meanwhile, is reportedly recovering well after an operation on 4th March which involved the insertion of a titanium screw into his left wrist and a skin graft on his left knee - following a test crash in Qatar.

The 24-year-old Spaniard was seen by a doctor last week who confirmed that his recovery is going according to plan. The stitches were removed from his left wrist and he was able to begin moving the joint. Next week Pedrosa will also start to move his knee with a view to starting rehab and getting fit enough for the season opening Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar on 12th April.

MotoGP, 2009, Repsol Honda Team

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