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2010 MotoGP Rookies: Hiroshi Aoyama

2010 MotoGP Rookies: Hiroshi Aoyama

The final 250cc World Champion joins the premier class next season, and brings with him a wealth of Grand Prix racing experience.

Hiroshi Aoyama enters MotoGP in 2010 with the confidence of a World Champion, having taken the last ever 250cc title in what was his sixth full season in the class.

The Japanese rider’s first experience of World Championship Grand Prix racing came in 2000, when he placed eighth as a wildcard in the Pacific Grand Prix at Motegi. For the following three seasons Aoyama entered the event alongside his home Grand Prix at Suzuka as a wildcard, taking a podium at the Japanese GP in 2003.

His first full season as a World Championship rider came in 2004 aboard a Honda after he had won the Japanese national 250cc title the year before, and his debut campaign was a successful one, finishing in sixth place overall with two podiums. That was improved upon the next season, when a first WC win – which came in Japan – and three further podiums saw Aoyama finish fourth.

A switch to a KTM bike in 2006 brought consolidation of fourth spot, as Aoyama secured two wins, in Turkey – the Austrian manufacturer’s first win in 250cc – and Japan, but the following two seasons saw Aoyama’s position fail to improve however as he finished sixth and seventh.

In 2009, Aoyama returned to Honda with Scot Racing, and the move paid off as he won the World title with four wins and a total of seven podiums. It was a thrilling final season of the quarter-litre class, in which Aoyama participated in some fantastic races. His battle with Marco Simoncelli – also making the move to MotoGP – in Malaysia was a particular highlight as Aoyama won the penultimate contest of the season, and seventh place in a dramatic final race in Valencia was the result which delivered the title.

Aoyama will ride with the Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team in 2010 on an RC212V, which he has already tested in both Valencia and Sepang in preparation for his move up.

MotoGP, 2010, Hiroshi Aoyama

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