Former Rizla Suzuki rider Kousuke Akiyoshi will assume testing duties for Repsol Honda during the upcoming MotoGP test at Jerez as a replacement for Dani Pedrosa.

The Japanese rider, who has competed in four MotoGP events for Suzuki in the past three years, made a switch to Honda over the winter, where he will represent them in several Japanese National Championship races, including the Suzuki 8 Hours.

His arrival will also see him take on the role of test rider in place of Pedrosa, who is continuing to recover from hand and knee injuries sustained in a crash at Qatar earlier in the month.

Akiyoshi will join Andrea Dovizioso and Gresini San Carlo's Toni Elias in continuing to develop the 2009 specification RC212V.

The Spaniard faces a race against time to be fit in time for the first MotoGP round at Qatar on 12th April.