(Reuters) – French rider Johann Zarco will replace Takaaki Nakagami at LCR Honda for the final three races of the MotoGP season after the Japanese has shoulder surgery, the team said on Wednesday.
Nakagami, 27, will have the operation after his home race at Motegi this weekend.
Zarco has been without a ride since parting company with the Austrian KTM team last month.
“I’m really thankful to have this chance, and I will do my best to pick up some good results and to enjoy the time, because these could be the last three races I can do for a while,” said Zarco in a team statement.
“I would like to thank KTM for releasing me so that I can do these races on another bike. Let’s see what I can do.”
The remaining races after Japan are Australia, Malaysia and Valencia. Zarco, a two-times Moto2 champion and MotoGP rookie of the year in 2017, will partner Britain’s Cal Crutchlow at the non-works team.
Nakagami has already been confirmed for 2020 by the Lucio Cecchinello-run team while Zarco is still searching for a ride for next season.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)