Sunday, October 26, 2014

Team Drive M7 Aspar's Aoyama 11th, Hayden DNF in Penultimate MotoGP Round in Malaysia

26/10/14. 17 GP MALAYSIA - SEPANG - RACE                                                                                                       

Hiroshi Aoyama triumphs over adversity at Sepang

DRIVE M7 Aspar rider suffers dehydration and a crash but remounts to finish eleventh

The gruelling conditions of Sepang saw no fewer than eight riders crash out of the Malaysian Grand Prix today, with only fourteen making it to the finish line. Unlike the Moto2 and Moto3 races the pace was as hot as the track in MotoGP, with Marc Márquez clocking a new circuit record (2'01.150) on his way to a convincing victory from pole position. Márquez did not have things all his own way, however, losing several positions at the start as Dani Pedrosa took early charge. Pedrosa gave way to Jorge Lorenzo before the end of the first lap and then crashed on the second, leaving Lorenzo to lead a group of three from Valentino Rossi and Márquez. Lorenzo was unable to maintain the pace of his rivals in the final stages of the race, with Márquez edging out a crucial gap over Rossi on the last few laps to claim his twelfth win of the season and equal the record set by Mick Doohan in 1997. 

DRIVE M7 Aspar rider Hiroshi Aoyama produced one of the bravest rides of the day after making one of his best starts of the season from eleventh place on the grid. The Japanese rider was lapping inside the top ten when his drinks system failed and he was unable to take on vital fluids as the race progressed. Despite that setback Hiroshi maintained a strong pace and was fighting to finish as the top Open rider until fatigue and dehydration took their toll and the loss of concentration caused him to crash with four laps to go. Whilst Hiro remounted to take eleventh place, his DRIVE M7 Aspar team-mate Nicky Hayden was unable to return to the track after a crash of his own on lap seven. 
11th Hiroshi Aoyama: “Yesterday was a fantastic day for us, we did a great job and I was able to set my best grid position of the season. I also had a great feeling in the warm-up this morning and I was feeling confident for the race. I made a good start and got into my rhythm straight away but I had a problem early on with my drinks system and I couldn't get any liquid for the whole race. I was dehydrated on the last few laps and I was finding it really hard to concentrate, which caused me to run off track. Luckily I was able to get back on and finish eleventh. After such a great weekend it is annoying not to be leaving here with a better result due to such a small thing. We could have finished as the top Open rider and the team deserved it after doing such a great job, so I want to apologise to them.”

Nicky Hayden (DNF): “I didn't get a good start but I managed to recover the ground quickly and pass a few guys. I felt comfortable on the bike and I was able to keep a consistent pace from the start to get away from Scott and gradually start closing the gap to Hiro. Then when I let off the brakes in turn nine the front folded and I couldn't save it. Even though the track temperature was very hot there are no excuses, it was a mistake on my part. I felt good on the bike today but I made a little mistake and that was a shame because I was catching my team-mate. I think it could have been a good race for us, with at least a top ten position, so I am feeling bad and sorry to our main sponsor that we couldn't offer them a better result in their home race.”


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