The Idemitsu Honda Team Asia: The Season Isn’t Over for Us

Hiroshi Aoyama with teams

Tokyo, – Hiroshi Aoyama, the Idemitsu Honda Team Asia Team Manager takes stock of the first part of the World Championship during the summer break.

The 2009 250cc World Champion believes that, although injuries have considerably reduced his chances, Ai Ogura can still fight for the Moto2 world title, as can his teammate Somkiat Chantra.

As for Moto3, he believes that Fususato and Aji can regularly be in the points in the remaining 12 races of the season.

After finishing the eighth race of the season, what’s your balance so far?
About Moto3, that’s the second season of Taiyo and Mario. We had big expectations of them.

They struggled at the start of the season, but, from Le Mans, both started to some steps ahead, and we saw some improvements in each race. Of course, this Moto3 championship isn’t the easy one.

Even if you’re making better lap time and improving your speed, sometimes the results don’t match. But the gap between the top and our riders is getting closer. I want to be honest, we expected a little bit more, but after eight races, we are within the range of expectations.

In Moto2, we were expecting to be fighting for the championship after such a season we had last year. But Ogura was injured before the start of the season, taking a lot of time to recover.

Even if he came back in Argentina, he wasn’t still fit. At Jerez, he was physically ready, doing a good race but couldn’t finish it. That is the difficult situation we had. His teammate Chantra has been very consistent race by race. That is a point he improved a lot because he wasn’t stable in his performance last year.

Now he’s regularly in the points, around the top5. Of course, we wanted to do one more step. I understand how difficult this championship is, but it’s clear that Chantra has improved in his racing performance. Our expectation about both riders was a little bit more, but I would say that last races, they took a positive step ahead. I like to see this type of progression, and I’m happy about this.

We have a challenging period of twelve races, including the Asian rounds. What’s your expectation about this second part of the season?

Now Ogura is 117 points to the leader, and Chantra 89, after eight races. But we still must ride more than eight races. That means, in my way of thinking, they could catch them mathematically. We never know what’s going to happen.

The season isn’t over for us. Our season is continuing, keeping the options to win the championship. Of course, it isn’t easy if you have that gap with the leader, but we’ve seen the progressions of our riders. If they can keep it, also in Moto3, we can still make an excellent season.

One factor that can be positive is that most of the circuits of the second part of the season will be Asian circuits, where your riders have always been very competitive.

We saw it last year when our riders performed very well in the Asian rounds. That means we can get some advantage in front of the European riders this second part of the season. That could be something positive for us.

Do the goals are, in Moto3 to be regularly in the points, and in Moto2, to fight for the podium in every race?

For me, yes. Taiyo and Mario should be scoring points every race. And if we can fight for podiums in Moto2, it will be nice.

But now, I want to see them more constant, keeping his progression this second part of the season.

In Moto2, they showed us his speed being in the group of the top riders. Our target is to fight for the podium and the championship. That is a realistic option for them. ***