Having missed last year's German MotoGP due to back injuries, Hiroshi Aoyama will be making his premier-class debut at the twisty Sachsenring circuit this weekend.
The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider, who replaced Dani Pedrosa at the factory HRC team for Assen, has scored a best finish of fourth - in the wet Jerez race - so far this season and will begin round nine as the leading satellite rider in the championship.
“After the experience at Assen on the factory Repsol Honda Team RC212V I struggled a little bit to get a feel for my San Carlo Honda Gresini machine at Mugello," admitted Aoyama, who is now just three points ahead of Tech 3's Colin Edwards after an eleventh place in Italy.
"To complicate matters I was still in a lot of discomfort from my crash in Holland, but I gradually got back on the pace and with the help and dedication of all the guys on the team we came out with a satisfactory result.
"The test on the following day was much more positive with a view to Sachsenring. I actually missed the race there last year through injury so I have to go back to my 250 days for my last experience there.
"I was on the podium in 2005 and won the race in 2007 but the difference between 250 and MotoGP is too big to predict what kind of feeling I will have for the track with this bike.”
Aoyama and LCR's Toni Elias, 13th in the championship, are the only riders using satellite specification RC212V machines.