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19 days ago

Nakagami: “I overtook Morbidelli and tried my best”

After four straight second place finishes in 2013, Takaaki Nakagami gets his maiden win on the world stage at the historic Assen circuit.

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Highlights: Nakagami takes first victory in red-flagged race

For much of his career Takaaki Nakagami (Idemitsu Honda Team Asia) has been known as an almost man, coming so close to victory on so many occasions. In 2013 he achieved four straight second place finishes, often leading races before being overtaken with only a handful of laps to go. After topping Warm Up in similar conditions to those of the race, the rain holding off for most of the day, Nakagami was confident of his pace and was unconcerned by his sixth place position at the end of lap three. From here he picked his way up through the field and took the lead on lap ten, never looking back. Johann Zarco (Ajo Motorsport) proved to be a brief challenge for the Japanese rider, applying some pressure in the closing laps, but a red flag due to rain guaranteed the victory.

It's not only Nakagami’s first win in the Moto2™ World Championship, but Japan’s first win since Yuki Takahashi won the 2010 Catalan GP aboard a Tech 3. Back to back podiums also keep Nakagami fifth in the championship with 78 points, 15 behind Tom Luthi (Garage Plus Interwetten). Confidence is clearly high within the team and a repeat performance in German isn’t out of the question.

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Nakagami: "Race was really enjoyable"

Takaaki Nakagami: “The race was really enjoyable. In the beginning I was fighting with the other guys but I was relaxed. I knew that my lap times were consistent and then I overtook Morbidelli and tried my best. I managed the gap with Zarco, it wasn’t too hard but I’m happy for this. It’s the first victory for me and the team. A big thank you to everyone.”