After missing six races due to a broken vertebra, MotoGP rookie Hiroshi Aoyama has been cleared to make his return at this weekend's Indianapolis round.
The Japanese, who was injured during warm-up for the British Grand Prix on June 20, coped well on his return to Interwetten Honda during the post-race Brno test and doctors have now decided he is fit for race action.
“Today (Monday) I had another x-ray after nine weeks since the crash. The damaged vertebra is still in the same shape, so it means that the bone is stable and the doctor gave me the okay for riding the bike in Indianapolis," said Aoyama.
"Normally this state after an injury like mine is quite delicate, as the shape of the bone can change and lose some of its heights, but my bone looks good and is stable. I am so happy to come back and ride my bike again, but still I have to be careful.
"I want to be fast, but it will not be easy after this long time, because I will have to gain strength again first. First I want to get the feeling back with the bike, then I can concentrate on being fast. I missed six races-that is a lot-and I am so happy that finally I am back with my team and with my bike.
"In Indianapolis I have to see how much I will be capable of riding the bike and how much pain I will have. I am confident that I will have the feeling back quick, but we will have to see my physical condition once I am in action again. I can't wait to come back.”
Aoyama, the last 250cc world champion, had been replaced by HRC test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi and then 2008-2009 MotoGP regular Alex de Angelis.