Nagashima signature enhances 2020 KTM GP Academy line-up15/11/2019
Japanese star Tetsuta Nagashima has signed up to be a part of the KTM GP Academy in 2020 MotoGP and will move alongside Jorge Martin in the Red Bull KTM Ajo Moto2 team next season.
The 27-year-old has registered four full years of experience in the intermediate class and celebrated his first career pole position at the Grand Prix of Austria this summer. Nagashima has often showed his pace throughout 2019 and represents a promising conscription for Aki Ajo’s decorated Moto2 squad. The Japanese will replace Brad Binder and will line-up next to former Moto3 World Champion Jorge Martin as the Spaniard attempts his second term in the category.
Nagashima is the latest acquisition for the newly-established KTM GP Academy; a system and structure implemented by the manufacturer to identify and develop the best talents from the stages of the Northern Talent Cup and Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, up through Moto3 and Moto2 to one of four Red Bull KTM MotoGP saddles.
Aki Ajo – Team manager
“We are really happy that everything is set now for 2020 and we are already motivated for our first test in Jerez. I feel we have a really strong rider line-up for Moto2 with Jorge and Tetsuta because both riders have shown a big step this season, particularly in the second half when they have both been near the top. When they start testing now then I feel we’ll be in a good way.”
Pir Beirer – KTM Motorsport Director
“Tetsuta has caught our attention lately in Moto2 and with Brad Binder moving up to MotoGP and becoming another rider through our Grand Prix system – now called the KTM GP Academy – he was a good pick for Aki’s crew. He brings Moto2 experience and already knows Aki and his way to work, so that is promising. We have outlined our map and commitment to the FIM World Championship for 2020 and the coming years and Aki is a fundamental part of that. The KTM GP Academy is a scheme where we will do our best to funnel more talents to the top and follow the examples provided by Miguel Oliveira and Brad Binder of coming right up the MotoGP ladder.”
Tetsuta Nagashima – Rider
“I’m so excited about this move. I was able to improve a lot this year, especially after the summer break and I was around the top five a lot for qualifying, but then I had some small problems in the races and couldn’t make it to the podium. I am now going to one of the best teams and structures in the paddock. I’ve known Aki and how he works since 2016, when I was in his academy team; I learned a lot there. In Moto2 the skills and the riders are so similar and the gap is so close: 0.1 or 0.2 of a second can be the difference between five-six positions. It can be very difficult to find the way to improve individually but with the right team it is possible to make this small step. I’m really motivated about 2020 already.”