After the disappointment of the postponement of his home grand prix at the Twin Ring Motegi from last weekend until October, 2010 MotoGP rookie Hiroshi Aoyama has admitted that he has extra motivation heading to Jerez de la Frontera this weekend for only his second-ever outing in the premier class – as he prepares to continue his learning curve.
The reigning and last-ever 250cc World Champion impressed on his debut at the highest level in the Qatar curtain-raiser earlier this month, both qualifying and finishing tenth under the spotlights of Losail – barely two tenths of a second adrift of ultra-experienced Rizla Suzuki rival Loris Capirossi on race day.
The global travel fall-out from the eruption of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull just under a fortnight ago means Aoyama will now have five more months to ready and improve himself before competing in front of his home fans – and in the meantime, he has his focus fixed firmly on the job in-hand in Spain, around a circuit at which the 28-year-old triumphed in 2009 for the first time.
“As I had no chance to compete in my home grand prix last week, the more I am looking forward to the race at Jerez,” enthused the only Japanese rider on the 2010 MotoGP grid. “After the Japanese GP was postponed, I had a lot of time in Japan to relax with my family and to recover some new energy.
“The grand prix at Jerez is only my second race in the MotoGP class, but in 250cc I always liked this track and I won the race here last year. I know I still have to learn a lot in MotoGP, but I hope and expect that we will have a good race here.”
“The tenth place in Qatar was a successful start to the season,” added Interwetten Honda team manager Daniel Epp. “Hiro had good lap times and I hope [he will] for the next grand prix as well. Unfortunately, Hiro didn't have his home race because of the cancellation of the Japanese Grand Prix, but therefore he has some more time to get stronger until October when we make up for this GP.
“Despite the good result in Qatar we still have a lot of work to do and the test programme is not finished yet, so each [practice session] must be used as much as possible. All opportunities are still open.”