Aoyama bows out of WSBK

Hiroshi Aoyama's final event reflects his entire World Superbike Championship season as he bids farewell to the Honda SBK team.
Hiroshi Aoyama insists he has enjoyed his fleeting experience in the World Superbike Championship despite enduring a season-long struggle to make the transition from prototype machinery to production bikes.

The former 250GP champion came to Honda in World Superbikes after two seasons competing at MotoGP level with modest success, but struggled to make much of an impression on proceedings.

Making it into Superpole once and cracking the top ten on just five occasions with a best finish of eighth coming at Phillip Island and Portimao, Aoyama could not live up to fellow MotoGP alumni Marco Melandri and Max Biaggi.

Struggling to hone the CBR1000RR's set-up throughout the season, Aoyama would not discover a breakthrough during the final round at Magny-Cours as he laboured to a sole 14th place finish.

“This was my last weekend with the team and I wanted to make two good races,” he said. “Unfortunately, I had some problems with the bike and the tyres, similar to the problems I've had all year. The guys have worked hard to solve the problems and we've tried a lot of things.

“It's a pity that nothing really worked because it was a new challenge for me to come to Superbike and I was expecting a lot more. But it's been a good experience for me with this Honda team so I want to say thank you to the guys and the sponsors who have supported us.”

Aoyama's place in the Honda team will be assumed by Leon Haslam.

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Aoyama, French WSBK Race 2 2012
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October 10, 2012 10:36 AM

You guys act like he's the first talented rider to struggle on this bike... Xaus, Neukirschner, EVEN CHECA didn't have the best run with it. It is also, coincidentally maybe, the bike that gave Sofuoglu the rep of not being able to ride a superbike. TBH, JR is the ONLY guy to get anything out of it....

Pete - Unregistered

October 10, 2012 9:07 AM

Aoyama has been the disappointment of 2012 for me, still think he could do a good job in WSS or Moto2 though. Maybe he's not suited to bigger bikes?

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