The Japanese rider will embark on a new chapter in his career and moves to a new paddock
Having been replaced at the GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team for 2023, Japanese rider Kohta Nozane will move to the MotoGP™ World Championship paddock and race in Moto2™ next year. The 26-year-old has been competing in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship since 2021, having for the Japanese national championship aboard Yamaha machinery. The GYTR GRT Yamaha outfit will have an all-new line-up in 2023 with 2021 Moto2™ World Champion Remy Gardner moving across from MotoGP™, whilst reigning World Supersport Champion Dominique Aegerter will join him.
Nozane’s two years in WorldSBK have seen flashes of brilliance but not on a consistent level. He was inside the top ten in his first ever round at MotorLand Aragon and would be a prominent force in other wet races too. In Barcelona’s Race 1 of 2021, he finished as top Yamaha, whilst in Indonesia, he took a career-best seventh in Race 2’s heavy rain.
2022 hasn’t seen Nozane make a step in terms of results, with just six points-scoring finishes and no top ten result so far. He’ll be hoping to change that before heading to Moto2™ in 2023, where he’ll ride for the VR46 Yamaha Master Camp team, which currently features 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion and WorldSSP race winner, Manuel Gonzalez. Nozane has previous experience in the MotoGP™ paddock, having taken part in four Moto2™ races and a MotoGP™ Grand Prix at home at Motegi in 2017 on a Tech 3 Yamaha. He has also taken part in a variety of tests for Yamaha in MotoGP™ preseason testing.
Speaking about his move and a new chapter, Nozane said: “I was able to win the JSB1000 title in 2020, and since then I‘ve spent two years in WorldSBK. It has been a big challenge trying to get results, and I‘ve had a lot of difficult races so far, but I‘ve also learned a lot and gained a lot of experience. For 2023, I‘ll make a fresh start and compete in Moto2. I realise this will also be a big undertaking, but I‘ll do my best to produce some great races for my fans and for Yamaha.”
Everyone in the WorldSBK community wishes Nozane all the best for 2023 and beyond.
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