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Aoyama gathers speed at Sepang.

"It felt strange because I like to control the bike myself but now the machine does it" Hiroshi Aoyama.
250cc world champion Hiroshi Aoyama impressed the newly formed Interwetten Honda MotoGP team with his pace on day two of the Sepang rookie test - also attended by fellow RCV newcomer Marco Simoncelli and the Honda test team.

After setting a 2min 4.38sec - without the aid of electronics - on day one, Aoyama made a significant step forward with a 2min 3.25sec on day two. That compares with a 2min 3.70 for Simoncelli, while the official race lap record stands at 2min 2.180sec from 2007 (the 2009 race was wet).

“We're still using the ex-Gabor Talmacsi bike,” Aoyama's team manager Daniel Epp told “We did 60 laps yesterday and just over 40 laps today, because of the rain shower in the afternoon.

“The lap time was quite nice, just over one second from the lap record,” he continued. “Hiro is learning fast. Today we worked with traction control and engine braking, which is the big difference between MotoGP and all other classes.”

As at his first test in Valencia, Aoyama's use of electronics is being carefully moderated by crew chief Tom Jojic to avoid creating a false impression of the RCV's character.

Nevertheless, with proper use of electronics vital for MotoGP success, Aoyama knows he must learn to exploit what presently seems like a 'strange' sensation.

“Yesterday we didn't put any electronic controls. Today they started to introduce some controls,” confirmed Aoyama, speaking to inside the pit garage.

“It felt strange because I like to control the bike myself but the machine does it. And you can choose where and which part it controls, which angle etc. It's quite complicated for me to use all the package of this bike. I need to go step-by-step, study and then go faster.

“I've ridden many types of bikes, but this is something special,” he continued, pointing to the RCV nearby. “It is like a nice new toy for me! There are so many options to change and it is easy to get confused if you don't know how to use it. At this moment I don't know exactly what to change and in what way.”

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