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Aoyama wants to deliver on “top five potential”

Aoyama wants to deliver on “top five potential”

The Japanese rider explained to motogp.com how he is enjoying his pre-season preparations after a productive first Test in Malaysia at the start of the month, and also spoke about his aims for the 2011 campaign.

Hiroshi Aoyama’s pre-season preparations got off to a highly encouraging start in Malaysia at the start of the month, where the Japanese rider clocked the seventh fastest lap of the first official MotoGP Test of the year.

The 29 year-old, who missed six races last year after fracturing a vertebra at Silverstone, has been working hard on his physical fitness in a bid to be in top shape for the 2011 campaign, and is also integrating well with the San Carlo Honda Gresini team.

“During the winter I was in Japan spending time with family and friends, then in December I came back to Europe and started to do some training which specifically takes into account the back injury I had last year,” Aoyama told motogp.com. “I started carefully and slowly, and I think my condition now is quite good.”

The Sepang Test provided not only a good measure of his physical condition, but was also another step in his development within his new team. “At the first Test in Sepang it was physically okay, across all three days, and we did almost 190 laps which is a lot. Every day I completed the highest number of laps, and that was great as it was my first time on the bike after two and a half months.”

He continued: “The team is working very well together and I was not expecting so much from the first Test because it’s not so easy to change teams, but it went better than I expected and I was happy with the result. The team has a lot of experience and they can help me a lot. This is my second year in MotoGP, and after I missed so many races last year this season is still a learning process for me. They can teach me a lot and I have a lot of respect for them. The feeling with the team is very good and everybody is professional and working hard.”

The on-track work will continue in little over one week’s time when the MotoGP class returns to Malaysia for the second Test of the year. “We want to analyse what we found in Sepang last time out and also try some things with suspension set-up, find better handling, grip, things like that,” said Aoyama.

“When we tested in Malaysia a couple of weeks ago the chassis was the 2010 version and the engine 2011, and I hope I will receive the new bike as soon as possible. Until I get that material I will just be trying to get back my feeling on the bike, and also continue establishing a good communication with the team. This is my goal.”

Looking ahead to the start of the season and his aims for what will hopefully be a more luck-laden second year in MotoGP, Aoyama outlined his targets for 2011.

“I always want to win the race, but we all know that’s not so easy in MotoGP!” he said. “I believe we have the potential to be in the top five, and I want to be there regularly. I want to fight for the top five at every race, and if I can be there it will be very good for us with what we have. I will try to do my best as always, and we have two Tests to prepare for the first race in Qatar.”

Tags:
MotoGP, 2011, Hiroshi Aoyama, San Carlo Honda Gresini

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