Takaaki Nakagami has revealed he’s returned to two-wheels for the first time since undergoing a shoulder operation which ruled him out of the final three rounds of the 2019 MotoGP season and the post-season tests.

The LCR Honda rider elected for shoulder surgery which meant he missed the Australian, Malaysian and Valencian rounds plus the post-season tests to focus on returning fully fit for the start of pre-season testing in 2020.

The Japanese rider, who was replaced by Johann Zarco for the last three races, faces a similar battle for fitness as both Marc Marquez and Miguel Oliveira with all three undergoing shoulder surgeries this winter.

While it is the second consecutive off-season Marquez has been in this position, having undergone the operation on his other shoulder the year before, Nakagami has had the longest recovery timeframe with his surgery on October 29.

Nakagami is expected to be following a similiar rehabilitation programme to what Marquez completed last year and the LCR Honda rider posted on his personal social media channels about his first comeback on a bike – a Honda NSF100 minibike – at a karting track, which was the same machine the Repsol Honda rider also used during his recovery 12 months ago.

“Finally! I've been riding a motorcycle since the Japanese GP! I could ride without pain! There are still issues, but I am really happy to be able to ride a motorcycle again,” Nakagami wrote on Twitter.

“I’m so happy to be back on the bike again! I think it was a step forward today!”

Nakagami is targeting a return to MotoGP action at the Sepang test on February 7-9, where both Marquez and Oliveira are also expected to make their comebacks.

Marquez underwent his shoulder operation almost a full month later than Nakagami (November 27), while Oliveira went under the knife on November 3 having sat out both the Australian and Malaysia rounds before being replaced by 2020 Tech3 KTM team-mate Iker Lecuona for the final round in Valencia.

Last year Marquez made his comeback at the Sepang test but had to limit his track time during pre-season testing and the opening three rounds to avoid aggravating the injury until he felt fully fit from his recovery.

 

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