A complete unknown who goes by the name of Damian Cudlin will substitute for the injured Loris Capirossi on the Pramac Ducati at this weekend’s MotoGP race at Motegi in Japan. Cudlin is a 28 year old Australian who is presently competing in the IDM German Supersport championship and is actually the reigning champion in that series. Last year he made a one off appearance on a Moto2 motorcycle in the German round at Sachsenring. While it is heartening to note that he is willing to go to Motegi when everybody does not want to and that on a career destroying Ducati, it is but obvious that he will be making up the numbers.
Meanwhile Kousuke Akiyoshi and veteran rider Shinichi Itoh will also be joining the grid at Motegi. Akiyoshi will ride a second LCR Honda alongside Toni Elias while Shinichi Itoh will be riding an HRC machine that is specifically for him. Shinichi Itoh is 44 years old and was once a 500cc bike rider of repute, having beaten the likes of Wayne Rainey and Mick Doohan a few times. He is a development rider at Honda and has decided to ride to show his solidarity with the Eastern region of Japan to which he belongs. Akiyoshi is 36 years old and he is also a development rider for Honda and has occasionally substituted for injured riders such as Dani Pedrosa even this year. It is obvious that Honda is ensuring that the show will not suffer since it is the owner of the Motegi circuit.