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Aoyama adapting to Grand Prix life

Aoyama adapting to Grand Prix life

Aoyama adapting to Grand Prix life

After the emergence of 250cc Japanese Champions onto the world scene of the calibre of Daijiro Kato, Tohru Ukawa, Tady Okada and Shinya Nakano, it is little surprise that current title holder Hiroshi Aoyama arrived in the Grand Prix paddock at the start of this season causing more than a ripple of expectation.

HRC's latest prodigy was incorporated into the factory team run by Alberto Puig as team-mate to reigning 125cc World Champion Dani Pedrosa and has been quietly impressive in his first three outings, getting to grips with unfamiliar surroundings in South Africa, Spain and France and becoming a popular member of the Telefonica Movistar Honda 250cc team box.

"I really don't know the world circuits very well at all, so the first thing is to learn them and that's obviously very hard," explains Aoyama, who finished on the podium as a wildcard at Suzuka last season.

"The European lifestyle is very different to what I'm used to. To be honest it has been hard for me to adapt, but slowly and surely I'm getting used to it.

"I have a deep respect for the whole team, and I'm delighted to have been brought in to this sort of structure.

"Alberto Puig has such impressive experience. He always gives me great advice, and always from a rider's point of view, he thinks as if he were a rider still. Furthermore, he knows how to manage the team well. I owe a lot to him and am grateful to him."

250cc, 2004, Hiroshi Aoyama

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