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DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Hiroshi Aoyama demonstrated consistent race pace at the Brickyard to finish in the top ten for the second time this season, whereas his substitute teammate Leon Camier had to retire on his MotoGP™ class debut.
Japanese rider Aoyama did well in the race despite never being fully comfortable with the new asphalt at the American track.
His difficulties in qualifying had relegated him to 18th on the grid. Following a final run in the Warm Up session, he went for the hardest compound for the race, feeling more at ease onboard his Honda as a result. On the first lap he gained five positions, moving up a further three before crossing the line tenth – his second top ten of the season.
Aoyama commented, “We left it until the last moment before the race to make a decision on tyres, and in the end we opted for the harder compounds. I think we made completely the right choice. Our qualifying session was quite difficult, and we started from far back on the grid, but I felt comfortable for the first time and was able to keep up a very consistent pace.”
“However, eventually the tyre performance dropped a lot and I made a couple of mistakes. Fortunately I was able to finish the race in tenth position. To start from 18th and place tenth is positive. I would have liked to have finished as the best rider in the Open class, but Scott (Redding) was very fast."
Camier, on the other hand, was not so fortunate despite his hard work. The Brit came to Indianapolis without having ridden the MotoGP bike before, but showed that he was dedicated to learning. He put in a fantastic showing to qualify 16th on the grid, but an electronics problem cut his race short and he failed to finish at Indianapolis.
Camier reflected, "At the start of the race I noticed that something was wrong, but I continued pushing hard; I just wanted to ride, have fun and try to finish as best I could. As the laps went by the problem increased and I was forced to return to the garage. It was a shame to conclude the weekend like this, because we had done a great job. In any case I am satisfied, because this experience has been terrific and I have learned many new things.”
“Above all I learned during the race, and found what we need to do to improve. I like the chassis and this bike suits my ridng style, so I am sure I can go faster with it; hopefully at Brno we have the chance. I want to thank the team for giving me so much to learn from this weekend.”
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