Nakagami "not interested" in MotoGP title fight

LCR Honda's Takaaki Nakagami says he's "not interested" in the title fight currently despite claiming his maiden MotoGP pole in Teruel Grand Prix qualifying.

Nakagami became the first Japanese rider to claim a premier class pole since Makoto Tamada topped Valencia qualifying in 2004, when he beat the field with a 1m46.882s lap on Saturday at Aragon.

The LCR rider was amongst the strongest on race pace in the FP4 session ahead of qualifying, leading many riders to brand Nakagami as favourite for Sunday's race.

Only 29 points down on championship leader Joan Mir – who will start from 12th – several riders have refused to rule Nakagami out of the hunt.

But the Japanese rider insists it is not his focus at the moment and his "priority" is simply on securing his first MotoGP podium.

"For my side, if we can see the standings positions in the championship, I'm P5 and it's not too far from Joan Mir," Nakagami said when asked by Motorsport.com if his rivals considering him a threat adds pressure.

"But I'm not interested in the championship. Okay, for the end, yes, but for now we are fully focussed for the remaining races, four races to go.

"I have not finished yet on the podium. This is for me the first priority, to finish on the podium.

"And then, I don't know, after the race we have to check the championship. But now I'm not interested to fight for the championship.

"Almost always I never see the [championship standings]. After the races I don't check nothing.

"We are pretty focussed on just our job. I think this weekend... I can say tomorrow I can hopefully get the first podium. That's it, simple. That's it."

Despite topping Friday's running outright and showing strong pace throughout both Aragon weekends, Nakagami admits his pole came as a surprise.

"It's an amazing feeling, I didn't expect to fight for pole position," he added. "Maybe our target, if we can fight for the front row it's enough. This weekend so far, we are quite competitive.

"We knew we can fight at the front. At the end we made a good lap time with the last lap. When I saw the first time under 1m47s, it's a good feeling. And the feeling on the bike is really good.

"So, I'm more than happy. I want to say thanks to my team. Really proud to be in parc ferme in P1."

 

shares
comments
Quartararo has no "real pace" to fight in Teruel GP

Previous article

Quartararo has no "real pace" to fight in Teruel GP

Next article

MotoGP on TV today – How can I watch the Teruel Grand Prix?

MotoGP on TV today – How can I watch the Teruel Grand Prix?
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Takaaki Nakagami
Author Lewis Duncan
What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best? Prime

What does Marc Marquez have to do to get back to his best?

Following his resounding MotoGP return with a seventh place finish in Portugal, Marc Marquez now must work to rediscover his best form before turning his attention towards results-based targets

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge Prime

How Yamaha's rookie-spec MotoGP star is taking charge

Fabio Quartararo is on a roll in 2021 after storming to victory at a venue five months earlier served up one of his worst races. Contrasting Portuguese GPs for Yamaha's factory duo make it hard to understand just how good its 2021 MotoGP bike is, but the Portimao weekend did at least expose one key improvement compared to 2020

MotoGP
Apr 19, 2021
The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return Prime

The hurdles Marquez faces next in his Portugal MotoGP return

Even by Marc Marquez’s own high standards, his MotoGP comeback on Friday at the Portuguese Grand Prix will be considered a success even if he didn’t top the times. But having shown competitive pace on his first day back, both Marquez and his rivals know plenty more challenges are to come...

MotoGP
Apr 16, 2021
Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return? Prime

Where does Espargaro sit ahead of Marquez's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Prime

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Prime

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Prime

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice.

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue Prime

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon Prime series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021