As rumoured, Marc VDS has decided to field a replacement for the injured Jack Miller at next weekend's Japanese MotoGP.

The satellite Honda team will call-up HRC test and development rider Hiroshi Aoyama to compete at his home round, marking the former 250cc world champion's first GP appearance since last year's Malaysian race.

Miller fractured his right tibia in a trial's training accident, but hopes to be fit for the following Australian round on October 20-22.

"Firstly I want to wish Jack a speedy recovery and I hope he will be fit to race in his home Grand Prix at Phillip Island," said Aoyama, who spent four seasons as a full-time MotoGP rider between 2010 and 2014.

"It’s never nice to replace an injured rider but I hope that I can do a good job for both Jack and the team in Motegi. I also want to thank Michael Bartholemy and Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS for giving me the opportunity to race once again in front of the Japanese fans.

"I have not raced yet this season, so it will take some time to get back the feeling. The fact that I already know a lot of the crew, having worked with them in the past, will help a lot, as will having a rider with Tito’s experience on the other side of the box. I am looking forward to the weekend ahead!”

Team principal Michael Bartholemy added: "Firstly I'd like to say a big thank you to Hiroshi for stepping in at the last minute to replace Jack in Motegi and to HRC for arranging everything at such short notice.

"I am looking forward to welcoming Hiroshi into the team this weekend. It won't be completely new for him, as he's worked with many of our technical staff previously, so we start already from a good position.

"I am sure he will do a good job for us this weekend and I hope he enjoys this opportunity to race once again in front of his home crowd."

Aoyama will join regular Marc VDS rider Tito Rabat, who will be starting his final four races at the team before switching to Avintia Ducati.

"Given our situation I'm fairly satisfied with the last three races, especially Aragon where I finished closer to the winner despite a difficult weekend," Rabat said.

"Now we head to the three flyaway races, my favourite part of the season, and our goal is clear; to do the best job we can and to pick up as many points as possible.

"Motegi is a tricky circuit with a lot of heavy braking, but I'm confident that together with my crew we can quickly find a good set up and push for a good qualifying position, which is so important on such a stop and go track layout."

Miller is moving to Pramac Ducati for 2018.


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I think this is a sensible decision.  Good luck Hiroshi, and get well Jack!!

good rider, yes, but lets be honest, he dont deserve that last 250cc championship, not as good as his rivals... i always cheering for speed japanese, but ... anyway, Nakasuga enter for Yamaha, Ahoyama replacing Miller at Honda, why dont Suzuki call Tsuda? or Elias, now he have time...

Not sure how you can say he didn’t deserve his world title??

Aoyama didn't deserve his title? Elias, whom just won MotoAmerica championship for Suzuki, should get a wildcard ride for factory Honda? Nonsense.

mmm, did you see that last 250cc championship? did you see what going on? Simoncelli pushing out anyone, specially Bautista, who was pull out by Aoyama in Assen in penultimate lap chicane for the championship, by Aoyama´s mistake (not intention i think), Aoyama let Simoncelli (after THAT supercrasher against others WITH intention 2008) did his thing, and just make sure to sign that last two stroke 250cc championship in the belt for Honda by a japanese, not the best, not the fastest and not the smarter, looks how his rivals was going in MotoGP and look him, not bad, but not soo good after all... i used to like Ahoyama till that year... and im not speaking about results, i considering all circunstances...


by the way, please continue the conversation, i mention Nakasuga for Yamaha, Aoyama for Honda, and why not Suzuki call Tsuda?  Tsuda did already a wildcard for Suzuki before Guinters this year i think, i just mention the possibility to call Elias, Suzuki, not Honda, considering he is free time now, not in bad form, and probably Guinters is bussy and Tsuda not so fast after all... so test how Elias going is not a bad idea after all, the other Suzuki bikes are near after all... with good flow, with a smile, with good spirit just mention the posibility that japans do it in Japan on japan rides... cheers and good races for everyone...

Inclined to agree with Exloko, did always used to see the Japanese test riders out for the home round, now Aoyama and Nakasuga are in, why don't Suzuki call up a test rider for a wild card?

Tbf, the year they've had, it's not like they don't need the exrtra track time.

Can't believe the bike & the team fortunes can have changed so much in 12 months, and I don't think the blame can lie solely in the hands of the riders.