Takaaki Nakagami recovered from a big turn one crash on Friday that saw him skip FP4 and miss most of Sunday warm up, to claim tenth place during the Portimao MotoGP race. 

It was also the Japanese rider’s first points of the 2021 season so far after a double no score in Doha.

"Physically it was absolutely tough. Yesterday I decided to skip FP4 and qualifying and I was thinking let's try to race," said the LCR Honda rider. 

"During warm-up I actually felt better than in FP3, so after the warm-up I decided to race. but it was tough. 

"Of course the physical condition was not the best and I didn’t expect to finish in the top ten. So it was a good day for me and a good performance."

Nakagami was the third Honda rider to score their first points of the year at Portimao, as the returning Marc Marquez, and team-mate Alex Marquez finished seventh and eighth. 

During the race, Nakagami was able to come through the lower points scoring places before holding off Maverick Vinales over the line. 

Speaking about his condition during the race, the 29 year-old alluded to struggling in the braking zone and controlling the bike due to the pain.

Nakagami said: "I struggled to hold on to the bike under braking, everything was really tough and it was a really hard race.

“Thanks to the Clinica Mobile doctors and also my team. Let's keep moving for Jerez. For sure my physical condition will be better so I'm really looking forward."

With Jerez up next and Honda back to full strength for the first time in nine months, Nakagami was happy with the ‘decision to race’, but also to have Marc Marquez return in order to further improve the bike.

Nakagami added: "Definitely we need to improve the bike for Jerez. I'm pretty happy with my decision to race because we got a lot of data from the race, and for Honda Marc [Marquez] came back. 

"So now they have comments from Marc, also Alex [Marquez], me, and Pol. So step-by-step we are a team and we need to develop the bike."

 

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