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Aoyama and Simoncelli conclude Sepang test

Aoyama and Simoncelli conclude Sepang test

Hiroshi Aoyama rounds off three days of testing in Malaysia having completed close to 150 laps, and with a faster lap time than fellow rookie Marco Simoncelli.

Interrupted only by a downpour of rain on Tuesday afternoon, Hiroshi Aoyama and the Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team concluded their three-day test at the Sepang International Circuit on Wednesday having registered very positive results.

Timing his fastest lap at just two tenths of a second slower than the circuit record with a fastest turn of 2’02.30, and close to half a second faster than test companion Marco Simoncelli, Aoyama was delighted to have had the opportunity to enjoy more time aboard a premier class bike.

“It was very important that we had the test in Sepang at this time of the year,” said the 2009 250cc World Champion. “The circumstances were ideal; apart from the rain on Tuesday afternoon. I have to learn a lot, because the MotoGP bike is so much different from the 125cc and 250cc machines. I have to get used to the traction control and to the fact that all works electronically. I am satisfied with the work of these days, but I want to do more.”

He added: “Now I will travel back to Japan and spend some time with my family and friends, and when I come back to Barcelona in January I will spend more time analysing the data from this test in order to be prepared for the next test in February, when we come back to Sepang.”

Aoyama tested the 2009 Honda machine at this test, and for the next scheduled MotoGP test in February is set to have the 2010 prototype, Technical Director Tim Jojic confirmed.

Head of the team Daniel M. Epp said: “I am very satisfied with this entire test. It was definitely the right decision to run it. The team has been working perfectly and rider and team could get used to one another. Hiroshi was very concentrated and was riding constant lap times, one second faster each day. This is the perfect conclusion for 2009.”

Simoncelli, whose fastest time was a 2’03.20, undertook a 21-lap race simulation on the final day, and was pleased to have also been able to gain further valuable experience.

The San Carlo Honda Gresini rider said: “I’ve ridden around 900 kilometres (160 laps) over the past three days, which was a nice early Christmas present! I’m happy; I had hoped to go a little faster but the lap times were not our principal target here and I am extremely satisfied with what we have achieved. Fortunately today the rain held off and we were able to do a race simulation. I did 21 laps at a consistent pace in the 2’04” region – even over the last few laps when the tyres were almost completely spent. Before the race simulation I did a 2’03.20 but I felt like I could have gone a good bit faster if the track was in better shape.”

MotoGP, 2009, Marco Simoncelli, Hiroshi Aoyama

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