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Barbera and Aoyama reflect on productive Jerez test
3 December 2012
New Avintia Blusens signings Hiroshi Aoyama and Hector Barbera were on track in Jerez last week as they completed a final test before the winter ban.
Rain and cold temperatures wiped out the final day of the planned three-day shakedown, but Avintia's new CRT riders for 2013 – who replace Yonny Hernandez and Ivan Silva – successfully completed their initial preparations for next year at the Spanish venue.
Aoyama and Barbera's times compared favourably to the qualifying times set at the MotoGP race at Jerez as they lapped just two tenths slower than the top laps, although it should be noted that conditions for both qualifying and the Spanish Grand Prix itself at Jerez were held in less than perfect conditions on a slightly damp circuit.
Barbera faced chatter issues on his FTR-Kawasaki and switched to the Immotec chassis in the final part of the test, which Silva experimented with in a few of the early rounds this year.
Claudio Corti also used the part-carbon fibre, part-Aluminium frame as a wildcard for Avintia at Valencia last month.
Aoyama was due to test the Immotec chassis on the final day of the test but missed out on the chance when poor weather struck.
Aoyama said: “On day one we took many tests in order to find out the right settings that suit my riding style.
“It takes a lot of patience as it is very important. Yesterday we managed to ride in a more continuous way after day one's hard work.
“The truth is we were very satisfied with this testing day both on the technical and human levels,” added the ex-Honda World Superbike rider, whose technician Tom Jojic is a former MotoGP crew chief who worked with Aoyama during his MotoGP debut year at Interwetten Honda, and previously at Kawasaki and Team Roberts.
Jojic also worked with Bradley Smith at Tech 3 in 2011 and 2012.
Aoyama continued: “I would have liked to ride today as well because we would have compiled further information so I could have improved my times.
“Anyway I am glad with the way things have gone in Jerez.”
Barbera was relieved to gain some dry track time during the test after conditions proved troublesome at Valencia.
“These were very important days because we hardly managed to ride in dry in Valencia whereas the track here remained completely dry for two days and we fully took advantage of it,” he said.
“It's a pity it's raining today as we couldn't complete the test.
“On day one we worked on the setting up and it influenced day two as we improved our times in spite of the considerable chattering.
“Today we had planned to try another chassis but the rain stood in the way of our plans,” he added.
“I am glad because the team and the technicians can get along pretty well and it is crucial to complete a good season.
“Now we are going to have a little rest and celebrate Christmas and we'll resume work so we can be fully prepared for the season to come up.”
Both riders set their best times on the second day of the test at Jerez, where they shared the circuit with Ducati and several World Superbike teams before the winter ban came into effect on Saturday.
Barbera managed a lap in 1m 42.507s with Aoyama slightly quicker in a time of 1m 41.975s, compared to factory Ducati rider Nicky Hayden's fastest lap on day two in 1m 40.090s.
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