Hiroshi Aoyama, drafted into the Repsol Honda Team in place of the injured Dani Pedrosa for this weekend's Assen event, was the first man out on track during what proved to be the only MotoGP practice session of the day at Assen.

The Japanese, who usually rides a satellite RC212V for the San Carlo Honda Gresini team, didn't just have a factory bike and new team to adapt to, he was also riding at Assen for the first time since the 2010 250cc event.

Aoyama, who missed last year's race due to a back injury, finished the soaking wet 45-minute session twelfth fastest (+4.096sec) out of the 17 riders. The afternoon session was then cancelled due to an oil spill, but Friday morning's session has been extended to 90-minutes to compensate.

"This morning I was a little nervous because it was my first time on the Honda factory bike and also in Assen on a MotoGP bike as I missed the race last year due to injury," confirmed Aoyama.

"It was a pity because in wet conditions I couldn't compare my bike with this one, but from the beginning the feeling was not so bad, the bike seems a little bit smoother than my one, but I cannot say much at the moment, I simply need more laps on the bike.

"Unfortunately, this afternoon the practice was cancelled due to track conditions but tomorrow we will a have longer session which is good.

"The plan was for me to adapt to the bike more than actually making any changes on the bike to suit me, so we will stick to this plan also for tomorrow and I hope to improve the feeling and go faster".


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