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Aoyama crew chief Tom Jojic’s insight

Aoyama crew chief Tom Jojic’s insight

The man charged with coordinating 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama’s debut campaign in the premier class speaks to

The Interwetten Honda MotoGP Team embark on an exciting new project in 2010, as they enter the premier class with 250cc World Champion Hiroshi Aoyama on the RC212V.

Tom Jojic will be responsible for overseeing the technical side of things for the Japanese rider and he took the opportunity to explain to his past experience, the workings of the new team, and also what he thinks the biggest challenge will be for Aoyama in making the step up to MotoGP.

“I started in 1999 with Team Roberts doing a data logging and mapping job, and in 2005 I took the crew chief position and stayed with Kenny until the end of 2007, when they stopped racing,” Jojic told in the attached video interview. “At that point I joined the Kawasaki test team and worked with Olivier Jacque, helping to develop the bike, and at the beginning of last year I helped with development for the Hayate team. When Kawasaki stopped last year I was released and I helped KTM in the IDM superbikes, and the rider Stefan Nebel finished second in the championship. Then I was approached by Honda – I also approached them – and they asked if I could help on this project, and here I am.”

Jojic then explained his role within the team, also giving the background on his fellow colleagues in the pit box.

“I’m the technical coordinator, but also basically the crew chief/race engineer for Hiro. What I really do is look after the technical side of whatever we do with the bike, the package, and all the equipment, and also help him with whatever he needs,” continued Jojic. “The other people on the team are Craig Burton, who was a mechanic for Repsol Honda last year, and Francesco Fava is the data logging/telemetry guy who was working at Gresini. We hired Emmanuel Buchner who is a German mechanic who I worked with at Kawasaki, and Antonio Haba Perez who is a Spanish mechanic who was working for Daniel (Epp, team chief) in the past.”

Looking forward to the start of the season and Aoyama’s acclimatisation to the premier class, Jojic gave his thoughts on how the quarter-litre World Champion will find the adjustment in machinery.

“I think the most difficult thing is understanding the electronic package on these bikes, because coming from 250s he can ride as fast as anybody on a motorcycle at that level,” said Jojic. “But this bike takes a lot of understanding from the chassis and the electronics side, which are both so connected to each other that we really need to teach him. He also needs to learn from us that if we change the electronics it affects the chassis setting, and vice versa. So that’s his biggest target: understanding that side of the bike more than anything else.”

MotoGP, 2010, Hiroshi Aoyama, Interwetten Honda MotoGP

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