Honda recruit Zarco to fill in for Nakagami

Paris (AFP) –


French rider Johann Zarco has been drafted in as a temporary replacement for the injured Takaaki Nakagami, the Honda MotoGP team announced on Wednesday.

The 29-old, who is without a team after parting company with KTM last month, will take over after Nakagami competes in his home Japan GP this weekend.

Zarco will ride in the last three races of the season.

"Due to Takaaki Nakagami?s premature end to the season because of a shoulder operation, the LCR Honda IDEMITSU Team will line up with French rider Johann Zarco for the remaining grands prix in Australia, Malaysia and Valencia," the team said in a statement.

Nagakami, who is currently 12th in the championship with 74 points, needs an operation to fix a recurring shoulder problem but will take part in Sunday's race at Motegi.

Honda announced on Tuesday that the 27 year-old's contract has been extended for the 2020 season.

Zarco, a two-time Moto2 world champion, had a difficult start to the season with KTM, scoring just 27 points.

He announced in August he would leave the team at the end of the season but was replaced by the Finn Mika Kallio after the Aragon GP in September.