Sunday, September 28, 2014

Aoyama 8th, Hayden 9th for Team Drive M7 Aspar in MotoGP Aragon Round 14

28/09/14. 14 GP ARAGON - MOTORLAND - RACE                                                                                                      

DRIVE M7 Aspar riders fight against the odds to secure great results

Hiroshi Aoyama, eighth, with his best result of the year and Nicky Hayden ninth, riding at a high level in return race

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A wet track initially, then wet-drying and wet again, as the MotoGP riders had to deal with the elements in a colorful race at Motorland Aragon. The track remained slightly damp when the race got underway at 2pm. Iannone took the lead, but Marquez showed he had more pace and intended to dominate. Meanwhile, the drastic drop in temperatures meant that the Yamaha riders stepped up today to match the performance of the Hondas and both Lorenzo and Rossi, despite getting caught up on the grid, were soon up there with the leaders. Iannone went down and then Rossi too. Lorenzo tangled with Marquez in the first half of the race, with Pedrosa riding patiently behind. The white flags came out, highlighting what was about to come, the perfect storm. In the last ten laps the rain caused havoc at Motorland. The more conservative riders changed their bikes quickly, but Marquez and Pedrosa decided to take more risks unnecessarily and crashed on slicks as the rain got heavier. Both Pedrosa and Marquez rejoined the race to finish in the points, while Lorenzo, the last of the ‘title contenders’ to win this year, crossed the finish line in first position. Behind him Espargarò and Crutchlow completed the podium. 

If you had said to Nicky Hayden he would finish ninth on his return after two months out he would not have believed it. Apart from experience, one of the greatest strengths of DRIVE M7 Aspar rider is his response in adversity. The weekend at Aragon had been one of constant evolution, without discomfort in his wrist, the most important factor. Today the Kentucky rider managed to start with determination and play his cards masterfully, changing the bike just in time (17th lap) and pushing to the end to achieve ninth, his second best result of the year after his eighth achieved in Qatar. On the other side of the DRIVE M7 Aspar box, Hiroshi Aoyama also used his experience to survive in the hectic conditions. With the arrival of the rain, the Japanese rider went into the garage a lap after his teammate and also showed his best on the wet asphalt. He finished eighth, his best result of the season, a reward for the bravery shown during the 23 laps of Motorland. 

Nicky Hayden 9th: "Today's race, with changing conditions, was quite hard. Even early on the track we were sliding and after ten laps the rain started getting stronger. This circuit is quite long, has many ups and downs and some blind corners, even on the straights the visibility was limited, it was difficult to find the braking markers. Still we managed a fairly positive result, but we must also consider that many riders crashed. We lost some positions when it started to rain and with the change of bike. We managed to finish the race, when three months ago I had to stop competing and I had to rebuild my wrist, so ninth position is great for us. I am happy to be back racing and competitive again. I hope to recover more, to race better in Motegi. I want to thank the team for all the work they have done for me."

Hiroshi Aoyama 8th: "Today we had a difficult race at Motorland. We opted for the harder tyre and at first we suffered, hoping to maintain a steady pace in the early laps but it proved difficult. But we were able to cope and stay in the group, and as the laps went by I started to have more grip and gain positions. I had a good feeling and I fought with Hernandez and Redding. Then it started to rain and I had doubts about the best time to change bikes. I've tried to stay as long as possible on slicks. After changing the bike, the sensation in the wet was also good and I was able to keep my position. I am very happy to have finished eighth in Spain, in a very important race for my team. The team worked perfectly all weekend and we have been competitive in each session. Now I go into the race in Japan at home with high expectations."

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