Interwetten Honda has confirmed it will field test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi for the Dutch TT and Catalunya Grand Prix as a replacement for the injured Hiroshi Aoyama.

Aoyama has been ruled out of competition for the next two races after fracturing his T12 vertebra in a warm-up accident at Silverstone.

However, Interwetten Honda have moved quickly to ensure it will have a representative for the next two races after promoting Akiyoshi to the role of race rider.

Akiyoshi, a former winner of the Suzuki 8 Hours, is no stranger to MotoGP racing having and made four starts for Rizla Suzuki between 2006 and 2008.

"It really is a pity that Hiro had this nasty crash in Silverstone and that he injured himself so bad, so he will be out for the next couple of months. Especially now his learning process was really good and he was consistently getting better.

Although currently only sidelined for two races, it is feared Aoyama is set for a longer lay-off after the team confirmed it is seeking a 'more stable' replacement after Barcelona.

"We hope he will have a quick recovery and that he will be back with us as strong as he was before as soon as possible. For the meantime we are looking for a stable replacement. At the moment we don't have a rider apart from Assen and Barcelona and we are looking for a suitable solution."

Akiyoshi's appearance will ensure the MotoGP grid ekes up to 16 once more for Assen.



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