On Monday, November 13, 2017 IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia made the following announcement regarding its team for the 2018 season:
Since its inception, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia has endeavored as a team to discover and nurture Asian riders from Asia, to challenge and succeed on the world stage of motorcycle racing. In 2018, IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia rider Takaaki Nakagami is moving to the FIM MotoGP™ World Championship premier class.
For the 2018 season, HRC test rider Hiroshi Aoyama joins the team as Team Manager, and current Moto2 rider Tetsuta Nagashima joins the team to replace outgoing Nakagami. With Khairul Idham Pawi, the two riders will challenge the 2018 season.
25-year-old Nagashima was ranked 2nd in the 2016 FEM CEV Repsol International Championship European Moto2 class. In 2017, he moved to the World Championship Moto2 class, and was seen to be a promising Moto2 rider for the 2018 season.
‘Super KIP’ Pawi began his World Championship Moto3 in 2016, winning two grands prix. The following year, he joined the Moto2 class, racing for IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia. This season, he continues to race for the team, challenging the pinnacle.
- Hiroshi Aoyama | Team Manager
- “I’m grateful to IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia for giving me the opportunity to contribute as Team Manager. I’m looking forward to sharing my experiences, the good and the bad, over 10 years as a rider, with Nagashima and Pawi, two riders who will be leaders in the next generation. I will give them all of my support so they can succeed in Moto2, and like Nakagami, move to the MotoGP class.”
- Tetsuta Nagashima
- “I am honored to be a part of IDEMITSU Honda Team Asia from next season. I’d like to thank Honda and everyone who supported me in this big move, and will be fighting with me in Moto2 next season. I also look forward to learning the attitude to racing and training methods, in addition to riding techniques, from the new Team Manager Aoyama, who is a champion in the 250cc World Championship. I hope and work hard so that next season, which will be my second in the Moto2 class, I will be on the podium, and how everyone how I mature as a rider.”
- Khairul Idham Pawi
- “First I would like to thank Honda and the team for believing in me. I’m very glad I can continue to be a part of the team in 2018. I will be doing my best with the team to get the best results next season. I believe I will be able to improve my riding, with former test rider Aoyama joining the team as Team Manager. I know I’m repeating myself, but I’m very glad to continue to be a part of this team next season.”