Yamaha has confirmed it will run a third factory YZF-M1 for its test and development rider Katsuyuki Nakasuga in the Japanese Grand Prix at Twin Ring Motegi.
A four-time Japanese Superbike Champion, Nakasuga has made sporadic appearances in MotoGP over the years, most notably in 2012 when he claimed a surprise second place finish in the season-ending Grand Prix of Valencia.
For 2014, Nakasuga will be entered under the YAMALUBE Racing Team with YSP banner alongside Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, and has been tasked with the job of evaluating the YZF-M1 in racing conditions.
"I'm glad to be able to compete again this year in my home country's Grand Prix of Japan in the world's pinnacle class of road racing, MotoGP. There's no greater competitive arena for a motorcycle racer like myself. Since I'll be riding the YZR-M1 that I'm involved in developing as a test rider, my participation will naturally involve development evaluation.
“But, I also want to put in a 'Katsuyuki Nakasuga' style performance that will live up to the expectations of the fans that have rooted for me. I hope everyone will come to the circuit to cheer me on."
Nakasuga has a respectable record in MotoGP having scored in each of the four races he has started (not including the cancelled 2011 Malaysian GP), finishing second, sixth, ninth and 11th.