Monteiro forced to miss Motegi WTCC race

Honda driver Tiago Monteiro has been ruled out of competing in the WTCC at this weekend's race at Motegi on medical advice.

Monteiro forced to miss Motegi WTCC race
Norbert Michelisz, Honda Racing Team JAS, Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC and Rui Santos
Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS
Podium: Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, Honda Civic WTCC
Podium: winner Norbert Michelisz, Honda Racing Team JAS, second place Tiago Monteiro, Honda Racing Team JAS, third place Thed Björk, Polestar Cyan Racing

It will be the second race in a row that erstwhile points leader Monteiro has missed, following his testing crash in Barcelona at the start of September that caused him to sit out the most recent round in Ningbo.

Honda has not yet confirmed a replacement for Monteiro. Gabriele Tarquini stood in for him in China, but is unavailable this weekend due to clashing commitments in the TCR European Trophy with Hyundai.

"This is one of the most disappointing moments of my career," said Monteiro, who is now half-a-point behind Volvo driver Thed Bjork in the standings.

"As a team, we’ve worked so hard to get ourselves into a championship-winning position, and to see it slipping away like this is very tough to deal with.

"The most frustrating thing is that the recovery is actually going very well; it’s just that time is against me, but all of these things are motivating me to come back even stronger when the time is right.

"I have to thank the incredible medical team that are working with me every day – we share a common goal to return to racing as soon as possible – and everybody who has sent me kind messages of support through this difficult time.”

After this weekend, there's a three-week gap to the penultimate round of the season in Macau, which Monteiro won last year when the final round of the TCR International Series took place.

Monteiro is continuing to work towards returning to race action for the final two rounds of the season.

Neil Hudson / TouringCarTimes

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