Who Is Joan Mir's Replacement Rider Kazuki Watanabe?
Two days after the Austrian Grand Prix it became clear that 2020 World Champion Joan Mir would not be able to race at next week’s San Marino GP. Here is who his replacement rider Kazuki Watanabe is.
A mistake in the first lap of the Austrian Grand Prix resulted in various fractures in Joan Mir’s ankle. The Spaniard was already examined on race Sunday.
🚨 Breaking News: Kazuki Watanabe will replace Joan Mir for the San Marino GP 🇸🇲. Read all about it: https://t.co/D83mxgndNK@MotoGP #motogpnews #joanmir #sanmarinogp pic.twitter.com/9VpwXx3Lo0— Team Suzuki Ecstar (@suzukimotogp) August 26, 2022
A break for Mir is unavoidable. On Friday this week, Suzuki announced that Kazuki Watanabe would replace the 2020 world champion. The Japanese states:
“First of all I would like to wish Joan a speedy recovery from the injury he suffered, he is a great rider and I hope he will be back on track soon.”
“It will be fantastic to try the MotoGP bike on this track. I will do my best to perform well and give something back to the team.”
Whether the 31-year-old Japanese rider will only be used for the San Marino Grand Prix or further down the line is questionable.
Watanabe was already a guest in the 250cc class and Moto2 in the 2000s. The Japanese, born in Yamamashi, competes in the MFJ All Japan Road Race JSB1000 Championship, aboard a Suzuki GSX-R1000.
【世界耐久選手権 第3戦 鈴鹿8時間耐久ロードレース】— スズキ株式会社・ 国内二輪公式アカウント (@suzukicojpmotor) August 8, 2022
ヨシムラ SERT Motul、2022鈴鹿8耐にて表彰台獲得https://t.co/68W97i7HAu#スズキ #EWC #鈴鹿8耐 pic.twitter.com/txQP2vZfy5
In 2012, Watanabe won the MFJ All Japan Road race J-GP2 Championship. A success which still characterises the Japanese today.
Recently, the Suzuki rider replaced Gregg Black for the 8-hour race in Suzuka. Watanabe achieved an incrddible third place with the Yoshimura SERT team.