But Honda are “waiting for Ai Ogura to wake up” before calling on him as a replacement, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Nakagami is “the only doubt” that Honda currently have surrounding their 2024 MotoGP rider line-up.

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Joan Mir, despite his poor start, and Alex Rins, despite his public criticism of his team, are already tied to Honda for next season while Marc Marquez enters the final year of his lucrative contract.

But Nakagami’s contract expires at the end of 2023 meaning Honda could seek a replacement.

His fellow Japanese, Ogura, who rides in Moto2 for Idemitsu Honda Team Asia, is the key candidate.

He is in his third season in Moto2 but it hasn’t gone to plan yet, leading to Honda’s hesitancy.

Ogura needed surgery on his wrist before the season began, then suffered another injury in training, meaning he missed the start of the season.

As a result he sits 19th in the current Moto2 standings, and is not catching the eye in the way that Tony Arbolino or Pedro Acosta have been able to do.

Ogura’s slow start to 2023 has bought Nakagami time to secure a seventh consecutive season in MotoGP.

His best result this season was ninth in Spain and France, but his troubles have been exacerbated by his new teammate Alex Rins.

Rins became the first Honda rider, aside from Marquez, to win a grand prix since 2018 when he claimed victory in Texas.

Ex-Suzuki duo Rins and Joan Mir were significant additions to Honda this year, despite the team’s overall struggle to maintain competitiveness with Ducati.

It means Nakagami’s expiring contract leaves him vulnerable to the axe for next season.