2010 MotoGP rookie Hiroshi Aoyama has conceded that heading into this weekend's curtain-raising outing at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar – not his favourite track on the calendar – he is still lacking confidence aboard his Interwetten Honda RC212V.
Aoyama has been vocal of late in criticising the premier class' testing regulations that he argues disadvantage newcomers [see separate story – click here
], and has been open in his admission that he will likely not be as prepared as he either could or should be in Qatar as a consequence of that.
However, having only narrowly missed the podium there in 250cc last year en route
to the riders' crown in the class' valedictory campaign, the Japanese ace heads out to the Arab emirate determined to put on a good show on his MotoGP debut in what promises to be another floodlit spectacle
“I am looking forward to the start of the season in MotoGP,” the 28-year-old enthused, “[though] Qatar is not really my strongest track and the conditions there are not always perfect. Also, riding at night is very unusual and I will have to see how I can cope with this new situation. I have to gain more confidence with my bike and I have to learn a lot, but I hope I can achieve a good result.”
“I am glad that the season starts now and we can get rid of the pressure of the first race,” added Interwetten team manager Daniel Epp. “The last couple of months – I think since summer last year – we have been in preparations for this new season, and now finally we can start it!
“The pre-season tests did go quite well, but where we really are we will see when the first race of the season is over. Qatar is not really Hiro's favorite track, but he also had a good start here last season when he was fourth, so we will see.”