Akiyoshi to replace Pedrosa in testing
25 March 2009 – Spain's Dani Pedrosa is to be replaced at the upcoming Jerez test by the Honda team's test rider, Kousuke Akiyoshi. The Spanish star is still recovering from his Qatar testing accident earlier in the month in which he aggregated old injuries as well as sustaining new ones to the left wrist and knee.
With Qatar's first race on 12 April just two and a half weeks away, Pedrosa' recovery continues as the team arrives in the south of Spain this week for two crucial days of off-season running on the bike. The Catalan will sit out of the test, leaving team-mate Andrea Dovizioso to rack up the majority of the miles as continues. Akiyoshi's time on the bike will also be vital incase the Japanese is required to replace Pedrosa in any of the opening races.
The Spaniard has already undergone surgery in Barcelona since the accident which included a skin graft on the left knee and titanium screw being inserted into his left wrist. His recovery is making quick progress according to doctors although he is also still due to have stitches removed from the wrist. Test rider Kosuke has therefore been presented with an opportunity to win a BMW sports car if he is the fastest rider in Sunday afternoon's test session, which will be televised live.
"This is an important test for the Repsol Honda Team and we're looking to use these two days to maximum effect as we approach the start of the season," said Team Manager Kazuhiki Yamano. "The team gathered a lot of useful data at the previous sessions in Sepang and Qatar and it's our intention to make significant progress in this final pre-season test. Although in a perfect world Dani would be testing here, we're confident that Kosuke can ably assist Andrea with our development programme for the RC212V."