After his best season as a MotoGP rider, Takaaki Nakagami stays in familiar Idemitsu LCR colours but has been upgraded to the latest Honda machinery for 2021.

Following Marc Marquez's injury, the Japanese finished as Honda's top rider with tenth place in the world championship, claiming a first MotoGP pole position along the way.

But hopes of a debut podium were repeatedly thwarted, most notably when he fell while leading on lap 1 at Aragon, and he has vowed to deal with the pressure better this season and capitalise on his proven speed.

"I'm really excited to have the latest bike," Nakagami said. "I want to say thanks for this opportunity. I hope to give podiums and maybe even victories to Lucio."

A frontrunner in Moto2, Nakagami made his MotoGP debut with LCR in 2018, progressing from 20th in the world championship in his rookie season, to 13th and then the 10th overall last year.

Until now, Nakagami has always been using year-old machinery, but he made a clear step forward in response to extra HRC support after Marc Marquez was injured last year, convincing Honda to provide him with the latest bike for 2021.

"Taka made a big step forward last year, also with the support of HRC, showing the potential to fight for the podium and even victory," said team boss Lucio Cecchinello.

"Thisyear Taka has the same bike as the other Honda riders for the first time and I'm sure he has the potential to stay with the top riders and bring more podiums to LCR."

Alex Marquez is moving from Repsol Honda to ride alongside Nakagami this season, in place of Cal Crutchlow. Marquez will also ride a 2021-spec Honda.

Provisional 2021 MotoGP Calendar – January Update

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

28 March

Qatar (Evening race)

Losail

2

4 April

Doha (Evening race)

Losail

3

18 April

Portugal

Portimao

4

2 May

Spain

Jerez

5

16 May

France

Le Mans

6

30 May

Italy

Mugello

7

6 June

Catalunya

Barcelona

8

20 June

Germany

Sachsenring

9

27 June

Netherlands

Assen

10

11 July

Finland (Subject to homologation)

KymiRing

11

15 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

12

29 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

13

12 September

Aragon

Aragon

14

19 September

San Marino e Della Riviera di Rimini

Misano

15

3 October

Japan

Motegi

16

10 October

Thailand

Buriram

17

24 October

Australia

Phillip Island

18

31 October

Malaysia

Sepang

19

14 November

Comunitat Valenciana

Ricardo Tormo

Postponed Grands Prix:
 11 AprilArgentinaTermas
 18 AprilAmericasCOTA
Reserve Grand Prix Venues:
  Indonesia (Subject to homologation)Mandalika
  RussiaIgora Drive
2021 Pre-season Testing:
 5 MarchQatar Shakedown TestLosail
 6-7 MarchQatar Official TestLosail
 10-12 MarchQatar Official TestLosail
 

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