Aoyama replaces injured Pedrosa for Japan GP

Honda MotoGP rider Hiroshi Aoyama of Japan rides his bike during the third free practice session of the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez de la Frontera, southern Spain, May 2, 2015. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

(Reuters) - Honda test rider Hiroshi Aoyama will race in his home Japanese MotoGP round at Motegi this weekend as a replacement for injured Spaniard Dani Pedrosa.

Pedrosa, winner of last month’s San Marino Grand Prix, suffered a fracture of his right collarbone in a heavy fall in Friday practice and was due to fly back to Spain later for surgery.

“I’m obviously very sad about what happened, as I was looking forward to racing in Japan at Honda’s home circuit and one of my favourite tracks,” the Spaniard, fourth in the standings, said in a team statement.

“Now I just want to focus on recovering in order to get back on my bike as soon as possible. My best wishes to Hiro, who is replacing me and will race in front of his home crowd.”

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond