With its two main racing sponsors being Malaysian oil Company Petronas and Yamaha Motor Kenkana Indonesia, Sepang is an important market for Yamaha Racing, and Jorge Lorenzo is a popular rider with Malaysian fans. This puts Yamaha in a quandary this weekend at the Malaysian GP, as the Spanish rider will be unable to compete in the penultimate GP round as he is still recovering from the finger injury he sustained at Phillip Island.
Needing a rider to fill-in for Lorenzo, Yamaha Racing has tapped factory test rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga to ride the factory Yamaha YZR-M1 at Sepang. The 30-year-old Nakasuga comes with a resume that includes not only testing the M1 with its Bridgestone tires (familiarity with the Japanese tire being paramount, just ask Toni Elias), but also competing in the 2011 All Japan Road Racing Championship, where he currently sits third in the JSB1000 class.
Suffering from his injuries during the warm-up session at the Australian GP, Lorenzo’s ring finger on his left hand was partially ground-down along the tip. His absence from the Malayisan GP was announced earlier this week, though Yamaha says a decision about the Spaniard’s involvement in the Valencian GP will be made within the next two weeks. An unfortunate circumstance, Lorenzo’s injuries are not expected to be career threatening, though it did allow on-track rival Casey Stoner to clinch the MotoGP Championship while at his home venue.
Yamaha has high hopes for Nakasuga-san’s results at Sepang, though this season factory test riders have relegated to the back of the MotoGP time sheets.
Source: Yamaha Racing