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.