Saturday, October 25, 2014

Team Drive M7 Aspar's Aoyama 11th, Hayden 14th in MotoGP Sepang Qualifying

25/10/14. 17 GP MALAYSIA - SEPANG - QP                                                                                                    

DRIVE M7 Aspar riders shine at main sponsors' home round

Aoyama improves on best grid from last week in Australia to qualify eleventh, Hayden targeting strong race from fourteenth

History was made at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia today as both Marc Márquez and Dani Pedrosa broke the two-minute barrier for the first time, Márquez setting a new record in the process with his thirteenth pole position of the season. With his Honda team-mate Pedrosa just two tenths behind him tomorrow looks to be an interesting battle between the pair although the in-form Jorge Lorenzo is also in good shape on the front row of the grid, whilst the ever-present threat of rain could shake things up in the race. 

Hiroshi Aoyama counts Sepang as one of his favourite circuits and he certainly showed his affection for it today. After setting his best grid position of the season so far just seven days ago in Australia, where he qualified twelfth, the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team rider went one better today after again progressing to Q2. Eleventh place and a fourth row start was the fruit of the Japanese rider's labour, whilst there was further satisfaction on the other side of the DRIVE M7 Aspar Team garage as Nicky Hayden made notable progress from a difficult start yesterday and qualified fourteenth.

11th Hiroshi Aoyama 2.10.568: “To qualify in eleventh place, my best of the season, is the perfect way to celebrate my birthday! We have to keep our feet on the ground because the most important thing is the race tomorrow but we have to be happy with our work today. We are in good shape and ready for the race. We did a good job in the first qualifying session this afternoon although I was struggling a little bit for feel on the front because we had to go with the hardest tyre due to the heat. In Q2 I tried to push even harder but I crashed in turn six. It was a stupid crash and luckily I wasn't hurt. In general I have had a good feeling with the bike all day and I think we have a positive set-up. We still need to decide on the front tyre for tomorrow and work out which one helps the performance of the bike the most but I am hopeful we can have a great race here at Sepang”.

14th Nicky Hayden 2.02.330: “My feeling in the dry today was much better than yesterday morning. We haven't taken a huge step but made small improvements throughout the day, found some rear grip, although now we're suffering a little with the front. I got a bit of chatter in some of the corners when I tried to push. In general we are happy with the job we've done here, we just need to try a couple of things in the morning warm-up to see if we can find a little more pace. Hopefully by the time the race starts at four o'clock here the weather stays good for us but we'll try and be ready for whatever we get. It is going to be a tough race but I'm looking forward to it.”


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