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Aoyama 'is fast team-mate Ten Kate have been looking for'

"One of the objectives we had was to find a fast team-mate for Jonathan and we have definitely ticked that box too!" - Ronald ten Kate.
The Castrol Honda team are sure that former MotoGP rider Hiroshi Aoyama will be the fast team-mate they have been looking for to partner Jonathan Rea.

"One of the objectives we had was also to find a fast team-mate for Jonathan and we have definitely ticked that box too!" said team manager Ronald ten Kate. "Both riders were under the lap record here and it's been very hot, with track temperature above 50 degrees."

Ten Kate was speaking after Aoyama made his team debut during a three-day private test at Qatar, which ended on Thursday.

After a less than ideal start, the Japanese spent the test getting comfortable on the 2011 CBR1000RR and riding with Pirelli tyres for the first time.

"I got food poisoning before I left Spain to go for the test so I was a bit uncomfortable to start," revealed former 250cc world champion Aoyama. "Also, my leather suits didn't arrive in time so I was forced to use an old one.

"But it was a very interesting test and a good opportunity for me to meet my new team and spend some time getting used to the new bike and the tyres.

"We still have some work to make the bike more comfortable for me to ride so I was not able to push really hard. I don't know much about the bike yet and there is still a lot to discover, so I will continue to learn, little-by-little.

"But the test has been really good and I hope we'll get some new materials for the next time I ride the bike."

"Hiroshi has obviously been getting used to the machine and, because of his size and weight, we need to make some new parts to make him really comfortable on the bike," confirmed ten Kate.

"Despite these problems, we're still very satisfied with his times and looking forward to making further progress with both riders early next year."

With a new testing ban now in place from 1 December to 15 January, the team will next be together for a private test at Phillip Island in Australia in January 2012.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hiroshi Aoyama (Castrol Honda) during testing in Qatar
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tucker - Unregistered

November 17, 2011 7:34 PM

For someone who has never ridden a SBK before and has just gotten over food poisoning, for Aoyama to be under the lap record in just 3 days is a feat to not overlook, Aoyama will be a consistent top 5-10 runner next season and the perfect rider to compliment Rea's title bid. Although he could have title ambitions of his own!

Jules W.

November 17, 2011 11:23 PM

Somehow I get the idea that Hiro never had the chance he deserved on the 800s. He broke his back in his 1st season, that couldn't do him any good and to be on a honda with no factory support made him look ordinary compared to Super Sic.



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