Honda factory rider Takumi Takahashi will team-mate up with Stefan Bradl for two rounds of the 2017 World Superbike championship at Portimao and Jerez, switching in for Davide Giugliano as stand-in rider.

After the tragic death of Nicky Hayden in May the Red Bull Honda squad have been without a permanent two-rider line-up for the past four rounds, with American Jake Gagne filling in at Laguna Seca before Giugliano stepped in for testing duties and the Lausitzring round.

Takahashi, three-time Suzuka 8 Hours winner who is currently second in the MFJ All-Japan championship, has vast experience with the new Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2 and will aim to put that knowledge to use in two rounds of the World Superbike championship. Takahashi will step-in at Portimao in less than two weeks before returning for the Jerez round in October.

It is not known whether Red Bull Honda will field another replacement rider for the Magny-Cours round which sits in the calendar between Portimao and Jerez, while the race seat alongside Bradl at the final round in Qatar is also unconfirmed.


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Honda japan finally taking interest why the WSBK bike is so shiiiiiet? Was hoping to see Guiliano on the bike for the rest of the season but if this means HRC givinh tought on the bike then its a win.


At least Honda will listen to Takahashi.

He won't believe how slow it is...

 Glad Giugliano didn't get it for the rest of the season.

He didn't show anything for Honda to want to keep him. 

Hope there's an interview with him afterwards, be interested to hear the difference between the Japanese championship bike, the WSBK bike, and the one he had for Suzuka.

Wonder if the team are looking for feedback for improvements?