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Avintia launches 2013 MotoGP, Moto2 campaign
16 March 2013
Avintia Blusens has formally launched its all-new rider line-up for the 2013 MotoGP and Moto2 World Championship seasons in its native Spain.
The team made its MotoGP debut in the CRT class last season, overturning an initial deficit to its rivals to become a competitive package during the second-half of the year, particularly in the hands of Yonny Hernandez.
With Hernandez moving to Paul Bird Motorsport for this season, Avintia Blusens will entrust its 2013 campaign to a new line-up of Hector Barbera and Hiroshi Aoyama. Both racer winners – and in the case of Aoyama, a champion – at 250GP level, each brings significant MotoGP experience to the relatively young team.
For Barbera, who has spent the last three years on a privateer Ducati, he is delighted to be competing in MotoGP again this season and is confident he has the means to challenge for overall CRT honours.
" Raúl knows me since I was in the Spanish Championship and whenever we met in the paddock he told me: "when I have a team of MotoGP, we will be together". It was true and we have got it!
“I have to thank you because Avintia Blusens has believed in me and I want to return all the effort of the team with a good job this season. In the pre-season we have improved a lot and in the last test we were three tenths slower than the official bikes of CRT. It will be hard to beat them, but in a short time we have advanced a lot. "
Aoyama's acquisition marks a return to MotoGP competition for the last-ever 250GP champion, the Japanese rider on the comeback trail after a dismal single season with Honda in the World Superbike Championship.
Looking to build on his debut race outing with the team at the season-ending Valencia GP, Aoyama is looking forward to getting back to racing.
"In the last Valencia GP I already ran with Avintia Blusens as a guest rider and I had a very good impression of the team. So I am happy to be in this team and we have done a pre-season that makes me think that we can have a good year.”
Over in Moto2, Avintia Blusens marries experience with youth by signing inaugural series champion Toni Elias with British newcomer Kyle Smith. A boost for Elias, who struggled on his return to Moto2 last season, he is determined to make the most of his renewed opportunity.
"I am very happy because I am at ease in the Blusens Avintia and I have the impression that things will go well. I think that we are going to get ready and I want to take the opportunity the team is giving me to achieve good results.
“The team and I are working at the maximum and I hope the season will be as good as possible and that we will meet again next season in another fantastic day such as this one has been."
Smith, meanwhile, arrives at world championship level having plied his trade in Spain. Even so, though he is aware the learning curve is likely to be steep, he is ready for the challenge.
"It will be my first World Championship year and thanks to the Blusens Avintia I will have the opportunity to learn next to great riders and with a fantastic team. I have to learn and go step by step, but I hope to progress to obtain good results."
Avintia Blusens will campaign a Kawasaki-powered FTR in MotoGP and a Kalex chassis in Moto2.