New to WorldSBK for 2021, Nozane joined the likes of Joan Mir and Valentino Rossi as one of the MotoGP™ test riders for Yamaha
As the 2021 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season’s build up continues, one rider was on-track with the MotoGP™ field for the Official Test at the Losail International Circuit. Kohta Nozane, who will ride for the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team in 2021, was testing for Yamaha in Qatar alongside Cal Crutchlow and Katsuyuki Nakasuga, as the Japanese manufacturer continue their preparations for the MotoGP™ season.
Nozane is the reigning Japanese Superbike champion and steps onto the world stage full-time in 2021 for the first time. He has previous MotoGP™ experience from riding for Yamaha at the 2017 Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi but has more familiarity on Superbikes -albeit not on the Pirelli tyres. With his radical riding style and a full year of WorldSBK ahead of him, track time will be crucial for him in the build-up to his season in WorldSBK and also to Yamaha’s in MotoGP™.
It wasn’t possible to tell the speed of Nozane as Yamaha’s test bikes were ridden by Nozane, as well as Crutchlow and Nakasuga, making it unclear as to who set the fastest lap time on each of their three test bikes. Nozane did have a small crash at Turn 1 on Friday however, although he was OK. Nozane had been on track at the Losail International Circuit once before, back in 2017, as he takes a key first step on his road to his first campaign in WorldSBK in 2021 as he gets some mileage on Yamaha machinery.
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