Hiroshi Aoyama dropped from tenth on the grid to 14th in the early stages of his first MotoGP race, but regrouped to climb back up the order and finish where he had started at Qatar on Sunday.
“This is a good result, not great, but good,” said the Interwetten Honda rider. “I pushed all the 22 laps and I did what I was able to do. I had a horrible start and lost some positions in the first few laps that I had to fight back.
“Therefore the tenth place is a good result for my first MotoGP race. If I would have had a better start I don't know where I would have been then. Now I look forward to go home and see my family as I will go straight to Japan for a visit.”
“Top ten is our main goal for this season and we achieved it already in qualifying and also in the race today,” added team manager Daniel Epp. “Maybe we could be even better if the start of Hiro wouldn't have been so bad. This gives us hope for Motegi.”