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When the first official test of the 2011 MotoGP Championship finished at Sepang on Feb. 4, San Carlo Gresini Honda rider Hiroshi Aoyama managed a seventh overall.
The test results gave the Japanese MotoGP rider much confidence, and Aoyama thinks him, his team and the RC212V are capable of top-five finishes in 2011.
At the first test of the 2010 MotoGP season, with new bikes, new teams and new riders, Bridgestone’s tires performed strongly in the typical Malaysian mix of scorching track temperatures and rain to enable the top four riders on each day to record lap times quicker than the existing circuit lap record.
While the bikes were new, the available Bridgestone tires were exactly the same specifications as used during the Malaysian Grand Prix last year, providing the teams with a known entity to assist them in their setup work.
Remember back when Melandri was the youngest (and still is the youngest) rider to be on pole in a GP at age 15? The hope for this young ride was high but 2008 was a big set back. Marco Melandri’s results this 2009 season, since joining the Hayate Racing Team, have already been a vast improvement on 2008, including an excellent second place finish at the French GP.
This revival for both Melandri and Kawasaki is illustrated by the following: