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Akiyoshi to replace injured Haslam at Monza

5 May 2013

Honda MotoGP test rider Kosuke Akiyoshi will replace the injured Leon Haslam in the Pata Honda team for the next round of the World Superbike Championship at Monza in Italy.

Haslam had an operation to plate his left tibia after breaking his leg in a crash during practice at Assen and is recuperating from the injury.

Akiyoshi is currently leading the All Japan Superbike championship on a Honda Fireblade, a series that he won in 2010 and 2011.

The 38-year-old from Kurume in Japan is also a three-time Suzuka 8-hours winner, most recently in 2012 with Jonathan Rea and has competed in some MotoGP races as a wildcard.

Haslam said: "I've just been chilling since I got out of hospital, really. I saw my physiotherapist... and we're getting a plan together but we need to wait for the swelling to go down before we can get to work.

"I'm back to see the doctor next week and get the staples out of the leg – then I can start some pool work, too," he added.

"It's a shame to be missing Monza, but the following race at Donington Park is my target to come back.

"It will be good to get Akiyoshi on the bike next week though. His feedback will be useful and Monza shouldn't be too difficult for him to learn."

Northern Ireland rider Rea added: “I'm looking forward to seeing Akiyoshi-san again and to welcoming him to my team, rather than the other way round.

“I think we can learn a lot from his experience as a development rider because I've ridden both the RCV213V and the Suzuka 8-hour bikes that he's worked on, and I know how good they are.”


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