Hiroshi Aoyama To Substitute For Yonny Hernandez At Valencia

Yonny Hernandez looks set to miss the final round of MotoGP at Valencia, as the Colombian continues his recovery from injury. Hernandez suffered a dislocated collarbone in a crash during the race at Motegi, an injury which forced him to miss both the Malaysian and the Australian rounds of MotoGP.

The place of Hernandez in the BQR Avintia team is to be taken at Valencia by Hiroshi Aoyama. The last ever 250 World Champion suffered a difficult 2012 season in World Superbikes with the Ten Kate Honda squad, Aoyama never getting comfortable with the Pirelli tires used in WSBK. Aoyama has been looking to return to MotoGP since the latter part of this season, the Japanese rider spotted in serious talks with a number of teams at the Aragon round of MotoGP at the end of September. Aoyama now looks set to take the place of Hernandez in the BQR Avintia team permanently in the 2013 season, according to Spanish website Motocuatro.com.

Aoyama could be one of two Japanese riders in the premier class in 2013, with Ryuichi Kyonari looking likely to take the place of Michele Pirro in the Gresini Honda squad. Both men will be riding FTR-framed machines, with Aoyama on the FTR Kawasaki with BQR, while Kiyonari will be racing an uprated version of the FTR Honda used by Pirro this season. Kiyonari could also start work on development of Honda's RC213-based production racer, though much uncertainty surrounds whether that bike - suggested by Honda in response to the CRT rules - will actually be produced or not. A decision on that has still not been taken by Honda.

Hernandez looks likely to move to Paul Bird's PBM squad, where he will probably race an Aprilia ART machine. Dorna is keen to keep Hernandez in the series, as the young Colombian has been very useful in promoting the sport in South America, and his spectacular riding style has been a genuine crowd-pleaser. Paul Bird had hoped to field an all-British team, with two British riders on a British-built bike, but with Bradley Smith moving up to MotoGP alongside Cal Crutchlow, that would have put four British riders on the grid. Dorna is currently engaged in trying to broaded the mixture of nationalities on the grid, as a better mixture helps with the sales of TV rights across the globe. The preponderance of riders from just a handful of nations - for 2013, it looks likely that there will be five Spaniards, four Italians, three Americans and three British riders on the grid - is something the Spanish organizer of MotoGP is trying to combat.

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Being in MotoGP is not enough, can he be competitive in the CRT class on that bike? He withered in his last attempt at MotoGP and also in WSBK. Does he have what it takes to lead Aleix, Colin and Randy to the CRT crown? Debateable at most.

I really rated Aoyama. Perhaps not the most exciting rider, but methodical and consistent in his racing. He did *really* well to get the last 250cc crown, keeping a clearly slower HRC NSR250 ahead of a gaggle of better developed Piaggios with amazing late braking and high corner speeds in a few races, and using his consistency to defeat the more hot-headed Simoncelli in a few races, and hence take the championship.

Going up to MotoGP, he did well relative to the others who came up with him, Bautista, Barbera - only consistently bettered by Simoncelli who probably had better machinery (certainly in his 2nd year). Aoyama finished as the 2nd satellite bike in his 2nd MotoGP championship in 2011, behind Edwards. That's not bad going. His reward for that was to lose his seat, which didn't seem fair.

Good to see him get at least another race.

I like Aoyama. I enjoyed watching him ride the 250s, but I think in his case that he is a better rider on the smaller bikes. Put him on a Moto 3 bike and you will see him back at the sharp end again.
In my opinion, there is no shame in that.

agreed 1rider...

Look at Kenan Sofuoglu. Brilliant on a 600cc bike (but very controversial!)

He stepped up to a bigger bike and failed miserably. Went back to 600cc and won the title in 2012. Are those that finished behind him going to fail on bigger bikes? No!

Like Aoyama (who I've always liked), some guys just seem to be at their best on the smaller bikes. Glen Richards is another one! Very cool Aussie rider and a nice guy. Put him and Triumph together on the 675cc Daytona and they just gel!

I think Sofuoglu at least has realised where his sweet spot is and will stay there.

He was very unfortunate in his first MotoGP season, had a nasty crash and missed ⅓ of the season with an injury (spinal iirc). In his 2nd season he finished 2nd satellite bike, after only Colin Edwards. Finishing ahead of Barbera, Crutchlow (1st season), Bautista, Abraham and de Puniet. He finished ahead of ALL his competitors from 250, bar Simoncelli - who was on a works HRC. If he's been a miserable failure, then what are those other guys and why the fuck are they still in MotoGP if Aoyama can't be?


Remember, he's won three BSB Championships against strong opposition. If his head is in the right place, I'll be looking for him to go very well indeed if the bike is any good.

his wet weather ride at the Donington WSBK round was simply amazing. However, the key phrase seems to be "if his head is in the right place"...otherwise, he can be somewhat inconsistent.