TOP TEN TAKA SURVIVES CATALAN CRASH-FEST
Sunday’s Grand Prix of Catalunya saw one of the most attritional races in recent memory, with only 13 of the 24 starters taking the chequered flag, including LCR Honda IDEMITSU man Takaaki Nakagami. Like the whole MotoGP field, the Japanese rider had struggled for grip in the searing Barcelona heat all weekend, but conditions were at their toughest during the 24-lap race, with the majority of the non-finishers crashing out on the slippery surface.
Starting from 16th on the grid Nakagami made an excellent start to make up several positions on the first lap. He continued to plug away as the tyres began to suffer, eventually bringing his Honda RC213V home in eighth place, his sixth top-ten finish of the season so far. The eight points move him up to eighth overall in the championship.
#30 Takaaki Nakagami – 8th place
“The conditions were really tough out there all weekend. In the afternoons, as it was during the race, temperatures were high – over 50°C – which makes it really hard to manage the tyres. We knew that because we chose the soft rear, the end of the race was going to be difficult. From the beginning I tried to manage it, but even then the last five laps it was gone and I couldn’t keep the pace.”
“Anyway, I’m pretty happy about getting into the top ten, especially from starting 16th on the grid. The start was key in this race, we were strong and got up to ninth on the first lap, and we could keep it going to the end.”