Assen MotoGP: Aoyama in for Pedrosa
Heading into Round 7 of the 2011 MotoGP Championship in Assen, the Repsol Honda team has two major issues, one bad, one good.
For the good, Casey Stoner took the championship lead after another dominiating performance at Silverstone two weeks ago, the Australian winning four of six rounds so far in is debut year on the Repsol Honda RC212V.
But there’s the bad – Dani Pedrosa has missed the last two rounds (Catalunya, Silverstone) due to breaking his collarbone at Le Mans MotoGP. The Spaniard, who is part of the three-man Respol Honda team with Andrea Dovizioso and Casey Stoner, will likely miss this weekend’s MotoGP in the Netherlands.
Although Pedrosa is working hard to return after undergoing yet another surgery last Thursday, Repsol Honda has a plan in the works. If Pedrosa can’t ride, Hiroshi Aoyama, the current San Carlo Honda Gresini rider, will substitute for Pedrosa.
Repsol says if Aoyama does substitute, Honda Racing Corporation test rider Kousuke Akiyoshi will substitute for Aoyama on the Gresini RC212V.
Dani Pedrosa (Repsol Honda RC212V MotoGP) says: “It’s been some days since the surgery and I feel much better. I don’t feel the pain I had before the operation and the evolution has been very good. I’ve already begun the rehabilitation and I am very positive.
“Every day I notice an improvement and this is very good because I really wish to get back on the bike as soon as possible. To be honest it will be very difficult for me to make it to Assen, but I really believe I will be okay for Mugello, so now I’m focused on working to get better every day and see how far I get. I want to return as soon as possible, but I want to do the right thing.”
Pedrosa is currently fifth in the MotoGP championship with 63 points; Dovi is third with 83, and Stoner leads with 116.