Nakagami sprung a surprise with topping the final afternoon of 2018 running at the circuit, with injured LCR team mate Cal Crutchlow’s motorcycle out of this season.

The Japanese rider described his fresh mount like a “really major improvement” when compared with this 2017 machine on which he contested his newcomer MotoGP season this past year.

With all the Marc VDS squad, which also ran’17-spec Hondas for Franco Morbidelli along with Tom Luthi in 2013, decreasing,  Nakagami are the sole cyclists in Honda’s slimmed down stable perhaps not using the latest motorcycle.

And though he feels that the performance difference between your 20-19 machine and the’18 motorcycle is bigger compared to jump from the infamously hard-to-ride 2017 Honda, he acknowledges that the problem isn’t ideal.

“This really is difficult,” conceded Nakagami. “I know the Repsol guys [Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo] remain working on the’19 bike, I believe [it’s] not 100 per cent mended. That’s why they will have a great deal of bicycles and they’re testing a lot.

“But for certain for second year, [it’s] not really helping, because there are just four Honda riders, and several passengers’ are available on the’19 [bike], and merely me to the’18.

“Anyhow , it’s not just really a huge jump like ’17 to’18. Maybe ’18 to’19 is a far nearer difference .”

Nakagami must target for top sixes – Crutchlow

Crutchlow, whose 2018 campaign was curtailed with a monster wreck in Phillip Island, considers Nakagami can aspire towards a stronger second season in MotoGP after finishing 20th overall in 2018.

Nakagami scored his very first top-six in a rainy season finale in Valencia, also Crutchlow considers this is the point where the 26-year-old should consistently plan to function as next year.

“I think he’s to get a good year a year ago and then now we ’ll try and help him — me as a rider and the team as a team — to be towards the front end. He wants to plan for high sixes and that I think he is able to get them. ”

Nakagami himself said that his objective is to be a frequent top-10 performer in 20-19, and to test to break in to the top five at certain tracks.

“I think top 10,” we must finish each race,” he said. “Some monitors maybe we have opportunity to go in to the top .

“I’m very curious to race at some monitors, especially only at Jerez, here I prefer it, maybe we have opportunity to finish in top five or high . We’ll have.”

Takaaki Nakagami, Team LCR Honda

Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images