Tetsuta Nagashima 33
Tetsuta Nagashima was born on 2 July 1992 in Kanagawa, Japan.
“Tetsu” started riding pocket bikes at the age of three under the influence of his bike-enthusiast father. The youngster soon fell in love with motorbike racing spent every weekend of his primary and junior high school years at the circuits, his dream being to reach the World Championship.
In 2008, at the age of 15, he made his All-Japan debut and won the championship in the domestic series in his first year.
He competed in the Japanese championship for several years, winning the GP-MONO category in 2011, finishing second on a Honda NSF250R in the J-GP3 category in 2012, and closing sixth in the J-GP2 category in 2013 aboard a TSR machine.
In 2013, he raced in the Moto2 class of MotoGP at the Japanese GP, standing in for the injured Mike Di Meglio on the JiR Moto2 team's MotoBi and finishing the race in twentieth position.
In 2014, Tetsuta became a full-time Moto2 rider for the JiR team aboard a TSR 6 but was forced to miss the Grand Prix of Great Britain, San Marino, Aragon, Japan, Australia and Malaysia due to a fractured right tibia and fibula sustained in free practice at the British GP.
In 2016 he competed in the Aragon and Japanese Grand Prix in Moto2 as a wildcard aboard the Kalex Moto2 of the Ajo Motorsport Academy team, scoring two points. In the same year he finished second in the Moto 2 CEV Repsol Championship, also securing a first win in the series. In 2017, he became a regular Moto2 rider for the Teluru SAG team, with a Kalex machine. A tenth-place finish in Malaysia was his best result and he finished the season in twenty-sixth place with 14 points. In 2018 Tatsu switched to IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia, on a Kalex again. He achieved an eighth place in Thailand as his best result and finished the season in twentieth place with 27 points.
In 2019, Nagashima switched to the SAG team's Kalex. On 10 August of the same year, he achieved his first GP pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix. He regularly finished inside the top ten and claimed two top five finishes in The Netherlands and Great Britain, ultimately rounding out the season in fourteenth place with 78 points.
In 2020, he rode the KTM Moto2 for the Ajo Motorsport Team. In the opening race of the 2022 season in Qatar, the Japanese rider made a masterful late charge to claim his first ever Moto2 win. From then on, the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact on the world. Several Grand Prix were cancelled or postponed, prompting the FIM and Dorna to draft a new calendar. The second Moto 2 event of the championship was delayed until 19 July, with the Circuito de Jerez-Ángel Nieto hosting the Spanish Grand Prix, at which Tetsuta scored another impressive second-place finish. Then, after following Shoya Tomizawa in becoming only the second non-European rider to lead the Moto2 standings (his fellow countryman achieved the same feat in 2010), he did not appear on the rostrum again and eventually finished his best Moto2 season in eighth position overall, with 91 points.
Nagashima was not on the 2021 world championship grid as a full-time rider but, besides taking a role a HRC official test rider, did race with the Kalex of the Italtrans Racing team at the Grand Prix of the Americas, Algarve and Comunidad Valenciana, replacing injured Lorenzo Dalla Porta. He scored five points thanks to an eleventh-place finish at the final Valencia round and concluded twenty-ninth in the general standings.
Nagashima was confirmed as HRC official test rider in 2022 and, on 7 August of the same year, teamed up with BSB rider Takumi Takahashi and Superbike World Championship rider Iker Lecuona, won the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hours, marking Honda’s 28th Suzuka 8 Hours victory and the first since 2014. Tetsuta also achieved the pole position with all-time record lap of 2min 4.934 and the race fastest lap in 2min06.93. The team competed with a factory bike based on the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP.View Profile
Takumi Takahashi 33
Takumi Takahashi was born on 26 November 1989 in Saitama, Japan.
His racing history has revolved largely around the All Japan Road Race Championship, where he has competed in both the GP125 class and the GP250 class. He was crowned GP250 champion in 2008 after which he moved to the JSB1000 class of the Japanese championship. Having taken the runner up spot on four occasions, Takahashi secured the JSB1000 title in 2017.
Further career highlights include three Suzuka 8 Hours victories, secured in 2010 with team-mates Ryuichi Kiyonari and Takaaki Nakagami, and in 2013 and 2014 with Michael van der Mark and Leon Haslam.
A long-term test rider for Honda Racing Corporation, Takahashi made a wildcard appearance at his home round of the MotoGP World Championship (at Motegi) in 2015, a race he finished in twelfth position. In 2017, he competed in two Superbike World Championship events, again as a wildcard entry, and scored points in three of the four races.
In 2019, Takumi substituted for the injured Leon Camier at the Portimao WorldSBK round, crossing the line in fifteenth place in race 1, after which he completed a full WorldSBK championship for the MIE Racing Althea Honda Team in 2022, finishing in the points zone on four occasions.
In 2021 he moved to the competitive British Superbike Championship for the Honda Racing UK team, scoring a best result of fourteenth at the Snetterton 300 Round.
In 2022 Takumi continues to compete in the BSB Championship for the Honda Racing UK Team, his best result to date a thirteenth-place finish at Brands Hatch.
On 7 August 2022 Takumi, teamed up with HRC Official test rider Tetsuta Nagashima and Superbike World Championship rider Iker Lecuona, won the Suzuka 8 Hours for the fourth time in his career, marking Honda’s 28th Suzuka 8 Hours victory and the first since 2014. The riders competed with factory bikes based on the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP achieving also the pole position with all-time record lap of 2min 4.934 (Nagashima) and the race fastest lap in 2min06.93 (Nagashima).View Profile
Iker Lecuona 33
Iker Lecuona was born in Valencia, Spain, on 6 January 2000. His international career began in 2015, when he competed in the FIM CEV Repsol Moto2 International Championship. In 2016, and at the minimum age permitted for the category, he made his debut in the Moto2 World Championship with the CarXpert Interwetten team, riding a Kalex bike over six rounds as a replacement for Dominique Aegerter.
Lecuona remained with the same team for the following three seasons, still on the Kalex in 2017 and then, in 2018 and 2019, on a KTM with which he achieved two podiums, at Valencia in 2018 (second) and in Thailand in 2019 (third). He made his MotoGP debut at the last round of the season in Valencia.
He became a full-time Tech 3 rider in the MotoGP World Championship in 2020. Despite entering the class during the most difficult period of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rookie ran a solid season, scoring three top-ten finishes. Showing a determination and speed that have often seen him fight on equal terms against some much more experienced opponents, Lecuona finished his second MotoGP season in 20th position overall, with three more top-ten finishes including a strong sixth-place finish at the Austrian GP as his best result.
Signed by Honda to be a factory HRC rider, Lecuona is actually competing in the Factory Team HRC in the 2022 WorldSuperbike Championship, where he claimed his first podium in the second round (3rd - Assen).
On 7 August 2022 Iker, teamed up with BSB rider Takumi Takahashi and HRC official test rider Tetsuta Nagashima, took a debut victory at the iconic Suzuka 8 Hours, marking Honda’s 28th Suzuka 8 Hours victory and the first since 2014. The riders competed with factory bikes based on the CBR1000RR-R FIREBLADE SP achieving also the pole position with all-time record lap of 2min 4.934 (Nagashima) and the race fastest lap in 2min06.93 (Nagashima).View Profile