February 13, 2006

Hiro gets a new place

Wow, what a weekend! Basically I spent my waking hours trying to get out and ride around the city, and then resting at home recovering. It is a fantastic feeling to be using my body again and riding, and I truly hope this will help focus me in other ways as well.

On the motorcycling front, it's been pretty quiet. I had dinner with Hiro Aoyama (KTM 250cc) last night and we talked a bit about the preseason testing going on. We ate at a place called the Philharmonic, which is a British Pub that routinely shows futbol matches. It was a noisy night, as Barcelona lost to Valencia 1-0, haha. His fitness level is going through the roof because of a new trainer that is whipping all of Alberto Puig's riders into shape. His previous trainer (who has guided Pedrosa as well) left the group to begin working exclusively with Sete Gibernau. The days start at 9AM with three hours of strength building in the gym. An hour break for lunch and then it's about two hours worth of cycling. After a short rest, it's either an hour's run or an hour in the pool. We usually have dinner about once a week, and he's always still hungry, haha. He's pleased with the progress with the KTM 250, but nervous about going up against Honda and Aprilia in the category. His younger brother, Shuhei, is replacing him on the factory Honda squad so there's going to be some excellent sibling rivalry going on! Hiro lives with two other GP riders, his brother, and Spaniard Julio Simone (KTM 125). It's a NICE place (they just moved in together, and the apt. is just about brand new) and I'll take some pictures the next time I'm there. On the weekends, the boys usually do some training on Motocross bikes; each rider using a bike from the company that sponsors him. Yesterday Julio was ripping it up and was trouncing one of the KTM MX2 riders on the track. KTM then asked him if he was sure he wanted to ride in GP or go into the World MX Championship. One of these days I'm going to make it out there with them and just poke around. My plan to head to Estoril tomorrow fell through so I won't get a chance to watch the 250's buzzing around, but I'm hoping to get the chance to spend more time with the bikes in March at the IRTA tests in Catalunya. It's almost a week long motofest, with the 125's and 250's going earlier in the week and the GP bikes rounding out Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Should be fun!

Here's some websites to check out if you're bored. The first is the Qatar/Losail track site, which is where I'm working, the second is Hiro's site.

Losail Circuit

Hiro's personal website
That's all for now, I'm going riding!

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