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HAYDEN AND AOYAMA LINE UP ANOTHER HEAD-TO-HEAD BATTLE AT JEREZ
DRIVE M7 Aspar team-mates looking to repeat close race from Argentina as MotoGP arrives in Europe
Losail, Texas, Termas de Río Hondo... The MotoGP World Championship has gone halfway around the world and back in the opening three rounds of the season but from this weekend it takes on a more familiar route as the European season kicks off with the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez. The legendary track in Andalucia welcomes a field of riders fresh on the back of racing just a few days earlier in Argentina and with Marc Márquez looking to extend his winning run to four after sealing victory in each of the three races so far. It promises to be an epic battle for home glory, with Dani Pedrosa having dominated this race last season.
DRIVE M7 Aspar team-mates Nicky Hayden and Hiroshi Aoyama delighted the Argentinean crowd with a head-to-head battle that went all the way to the line. Aoyama eventually won the battle for a top ten finish in the penultimate corner but the good-natured war for supremacy on board the Honda RCV1000R machines continues this weekend. A second consecutive eleventh place finish for Hayden leaves him eleventh in the championship, one place ahead of Aoyama, positions the pair will look to build on by continuing the positive trend set over the opening three rounds.
Nicky Hayden: "I am really looking forward to going to Jerez this week, it's an interesting track. You could say the season is more back to normal this weekend after a night race in Qatar, a very difficult weekend for us in Texas and a new track in Argentina. Now we go to Europe, the home of the championship, and a circuit we all know well. It's an awesome track with an unbeatable atmosphere and most riders are fast there. I always enjoying racing at Jerez. You can't use all of the power of a MotoGP bike in certain sections of the track but that could prove to be an advantage to us compared to the factory bikes. If we do our job right maybe we can get closer and be more competitive. Hopefully the conditions are on our side."
Hiroshi Aoyama: "We have had three long-haul races to kick of the season and it hasn't been an easy start for us. A new bike, new team, a lot of work to adapt and set the bike up. The positive thing is that we have made progress every week and last Sunday we were able to score a very positive result in Argentina. Now it's time to kick off the European part of the season and this week we go to Jerez, a circuit I love and have lots of good memories of. I am sure that the characteristics of the track can really suit our bike and even though we had a good race last time we need to keep working. The main objective for this weekend is to improve the bike in corner entry and we will try to maintain the positive trend from last week."