In the last 250cc race of the year
Hiroshi Aoyama closed off the season for the KTM FRR 250 with the first pole position for KTM in the class and a new lap record of 1'35.109.
The congenial Japanese rider put in a superb effort during training, picking up pole positions
in both qualifying sessions but in the race he slid out in the 21st lap while in the lead. All hopes of a seventh podium place for the season ended for Hiroshi in the gravel.
After practice, all indications were that there would be another podium place for the Red Bull KTM GP 250 team with Aoyama dominating the qualifying training and setting the fastest time on both occasions. The 4.005 km long circuit is a favourite of the Japanese rider and it was possible to see how much he was enjoying riding each lap. In the process he picked up the first ever pole for the KTM FRR250 and set a new lap record of 1'35.109.
"After I caught up with the other guys I tried to get away from them but I was trying too hard and I felt that I was sliding badly. I tried to avoid the crash, but it was impossible," said Hiroshi Aoyama. "That's racing and everything is possible. Now I have finished the season fourth overall in the standings, the same position as last year. But I'm happy with this classification as it is my first season with Red Bull KTM. I still have a lot of things to achieve and they are on my list for next year. I would like to thank all the people around me for their support and their work."
Team colleague Manuel Poggiali showed good form in the last race of the season starting from position 11 and crossing the line in eighth place, the best result of the season for the 23-year-old. He finishes the championship in 14th place.
Harald Bartol, Racing Director KTM Road Racing, said: "I am happy that now the season is finished. It was a good year and important for us. We were able to see that our 250 went well and that we are competitive. Hiroshi's crash today is all about racing. It just happened and as such belongs to the normal course of events. Overall I am very satisfied. The boys have done a good job, particularly Mika and also Manuel. He was right up with it the whole weekend."
Press Release KTM