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The Japanese rider will be the first representative in Moto2™ European Championship for Ajo Motorsport Academy.
In 2015, Ajo Motorsport were protagonists in each of the World Championship classes, with Red Bull KTM Ajo in Moto3™, Ajo Motorsport Team in Moto2™ and management for MotoGP™ riders Maverick Viñales and Jack Miller. This year, the Finnish structure have added a new and exciting project to their portfolio: Ajo Motorsport Academy. This initiative will be in charge of educating young riders technically, mentally and physically for the leap up to the World Championship. The first rider to take part in the new setup will be Tetsuta Nagashima who will compete in the intermediate category of the FIM CEV Repsol this season.
The 23-year old Japanese rider will be undertaking his second season in the Moto2™ European Championship, in which he finished seventh in the overall standings last year, with two podiums: a third and a secnd place in the last three rounds. Nagashima and Ajo Motorsport Academy aim to be candidates for the top spots in the series in 2016. Furthermore, there is the possibility of wildcard appearances in the World Championship, in which the Japanese rider contested 12 races in 2014 and Ajo Motorsport are the reigning champions with Johann Zarco.
The work of the Ajo Motorsport Academy will not be limited to the intermediate category of the FIM CEV Repsol, as it will also run teams in other competitions such as the RFME Spanish Championship in Pre-Moto3 class.
With the creation of the Ajo Motorsport Academy, the Finnish structure take another step forward in their growth and offer riders a project to accompany them from grassroots level to the elite of the MotoGP World Championship.
Aki Ajo, Team Manager: "It is very exciting to announce this project that we will begin this year with Tetsuya Nagashima in the FIM CEV. This is the beginning of the Ajo Motorsport Academy, with which we want to help riders. Last season we debuted in the Moto2 World Championship and this was the natural step to expand the project. We wanted to repeat the same team structure that brought such good results last year with Johann Zarco -World Champion in 2015. So we are undertaking a beautiful adventure in the FIM CEV. Tetsuta had great results in 2015, placing on the podium twice. I hope that together we can keep learning and maintain the same level. This is a long-term project with a rider for whom we have high hopes, so we will also apply to try to get him a wildcard in the World Championship. I hope that with our experience, that of Tetsuta and the support of our partners -who I want to thank for making this possible- we can seize this opportunity and celebrate great successes."
Tetsuta Nagashima: "I am very happy to start this project with the Ajo Motorsport Academy in the FIM CEV. Last year I took two podiums at the end of the season: One in Jerez and one in Valencia. These showed the improvements we made throughout the year.
This year will be all new for me. The team, the bike, the suspension and we will have great potential. I tried the bike at the end of last season and the feeling was very good, I felt very comfortable riding the Kalex. I hope to make use of the experience this team have as current World Champions in the intermediate category. I will try to learn as much as possible, as I will not let the opportunity to listen to the advice of a great rider like Zarco pass me by. I believe that together we can challenge for everything: Podiums, wins and fighting for the title. This should be the goal. I can’t wait to start with the first pre-season tests and the season itself."
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