For 3rd 250 cc career win on KTM
Aoyama started on pole to score his second victory of the season after Germany and his third career victory onboard the orange machine after winning his home GP in Japan in 2006. Aoyama also registered the fastest lap of 2:08.266 on Sunday
in the final of the 20-lap race.
The 25-year-old Japanese rider made a stunning charge to move from fourth to first in the last two laps of the race. He had taken a cautious approach in the opening laps but his choice of hard and durable tyre compounds, especially for the front, paid off towards the end when he had more in reserve than his opponents.
Aoyama's second win of the season is also the third victory of the year for Red Bull KTM in the 250 cc category after team-mate Mika Kallio won in Japan.
A clearly delighted Aoyama admitted it had been a tough race in the tropical heat and high humidity that he said was hard on both riders and tyres. In what is evolving as typical Aoyama tactics, he was able to come from behind after a slower start.
"We thought we would have some front end grip problems during the race, as the new tarmac of this track is very aggressive on the tyres", Aoyama commented. "I am very grateful to my team that we were able to find a solution for this. We chose the hardest available tyre for the front, because especially the right hand side was critical over the whole race distance. Sure enough, I could see the other riders sliding towards the end, but I still had something in reserve.”
"In the beginning of the race, I just tried to keep my own rhythm, to save my tyres and also to be kind to the engine, but as the race went on, things went better and better and I caught up with the group that Mika was in.
I started to push a little bit because there weren't too many laps to go. On the last lap I pushed as hard as I could and I did my best lap time."
Aoyama, whose European base is in Spain said he felt confident that the team also had a good chance of winning the final race in Valencia. Aoyama also offered his congratulations to Spain's Jorge Lorenzo who secured the championship title in Sunday's Malaysian GP.
Kallio had also looked set for a podium finish on the Sepang circuit. The 24-year-old Finn rode ahead of Aoyama for most of the race, but things took a different turn when he got into a tussle with Andrea Dovizioso in the third lap from the finish and clipped the rear wheel of the Italian rider. Dovizioso crashed and Kallio lost valuable time although was still able to finish in fourth place in a race that was a real heart stopper in the closing stages.
Kallio said he had tyre problems in the early stages of the race.
"The feeling started to improve after the first half of the race and it was enough that I could keep steady lap times. Then I saw we were closing in on Dovizioso and Lorenzo. I kept pushing to catch them and I thought I would stay where I was and see what would happen in the last lap", the Finn said. "Of course it was my mistake when I touched Dovi. I overtook Hiro and then I saw Dovizioso closing the door. He took a completely different line than me and I touched his rear tyre. I am not happy at all that this happened, but sometimes racing is like this. Without that, we would have had a good chance to win. I am also sorry for Dovizioso!"
Red Bull KTM