Rookie rider in for Capirossi
Rookie rider Damian Cudlin will make his MotoGP debut at Japan's Motegi circuit as a stand-in for injured veteran Loris Capirossi at Pramac Ducati.
Capirossi, who has said he will retire at the end of the 2011 season after making his Grand Prix debut 21 years ago, crashed and dislocated his right shoulder at the recent race in Spain.
Cudlin said: "I've dreamed about starting in MotoGP since I was a boy - until now it was just that. A dream. Now it's become a reality and to be honest, I'm still in shock."
DREAM COME TRUE
"I'm under no illusions about how difficult this race will be. I've never ridden a real MotoGP bike and I've never been to Motegi so realistically my expectations can't be too high.
"I don't know what I've done to deserve this. I still can't believe I'll be replacing Loris Capirossi - I had posters of him on my wall as a kid," said Cudlin.
Motegi will be the round 15 of the championship.