Hometown Hiro relishing family race

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Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Aoyama brothers reunited for Polini Grand Prix of Japan.

Hiroshi Aoyama is one of only two riders in the 250cc class to have tasted quarter-litre victory at Motegi, the setting for the 2009 Polini Grand Prix of Japan. He was the worthy winner of the 2005 and 2006 races at what is his home track, and the protagonist in a tearful podium trophy acceptance.

Back with Honda –with whom he took his first home triumph- for the Scot Racing team, Aoyama is one of the riders favoured for success this weekend. He will face stiff competition from the likes of series leader Héctor Barberá, last year’s racewinner Marco Simoncelli and the ever-dangerous Álvaro Bautista, but his attentions will also be focused on another competitor making a return to the category.

“This will be not only my home race, but also a family race: my brother is going to take part as a wild card,” says Aoyama, who welcomes younger sibling Shuhei back to the fold in a one-off appearance. The erstwhile Honda factory rider took pole position in his last outing, but has spent the past season-and-a-half outside the World Championship in superbike competition on both the international and national stage. He makes his cameo run-out for Harc-Pro Honda.

Whilst for his brother the Motegi showdown will be a one-shot deal, Hiroshi is eager to rack up points for an eventual title challenge. He opened the season strongly at Losail –just missing out on the podium- and is confident in his re-acquaintance with Honda machinery.

”I'm convinced that we can do a good job, as I know the track very well. I can understand the bike in any condition, and this will help us with the set-up. I'm pleased with the result from Qatar, and I want to progress even further to get precious points,” he says.

"My family will be at the race track, as well as my friends and fans. I want a great performance.”

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