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Hiroshi Aoyama ready to debut with his new team at Jerez

Hiroshi Aoyama ready to debut with his new team at Jerez

Hiroshi Aoyama ready to debut with his new team at Jerez

Hiroshi Aoyama makes his debut with the Telefónica Movistar Junior Team on Tuesday on the first of two days of testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain. The Japanese rider, who contests his rookie 250cc season in 2004, will lap alongside Fortuna Honda riders Roberto Rolfo and Toni Elías, although his new team-mate Dani Pedrosa will not be in action as he continues his rehabilitation from the two broken ankles he sustained at Phillip Island in October.

The current 250cc Japanese Champion arrived in Barcelona and was greeted at the airport by his new team manager Alberto Puig. "I am very grateful to Alberto for coming to collect me and for showing me around the city," explained the 22 year old. "I was a little worried because this is the first time I have travelled outside Japan on my own, even though I went to the final round of last season at Valencia with HRC. Puig has looked after me very well. On Sunday I was still recovering from jet-lag so we spent a few hours looking around the city – I visited the Olympic Stadium, the Montjuic castle, the port and some of the impressive Gaudí buildings. I even went up to the top of the Sagrada Familia cathedral, and will be definitely doing that again when I have more time."

On Monday morning Aoyama accompanied Dani Pedrosa to the hospital where the 125cc World Champion is receiving regular treatment for his injuries and himself underwent an intensive medical. "I have undergone some tests today which I have never done before in my life," commented Aoyama. "Doctor Gutierrez advised me to focus my preparations around physical resistance training. I was also lucky enough to meet Pedrosa for the first time. He is very nice and I think we will build up a good understanding. With regard to the test, I am both happy and impatient to get on with this new stage in my career."

After the Jerez test Aoyama, who plans to study English, will fly to Italy where he will be fitted out for leathers by Spidi and on Friday he'll return to Japan. However, he will be back in Barcelona in February for further testing at the Catalunya circuit – when Pedrosa is expected to make his long-awaited debut on the 250.

250cc, 2003, Hiroshi Aoyama

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