Hiroshi Aoyama becomes Honda test rider in MotoGP

Hiroshi Aoyama will switch to a test rider role for Honda after losing his Aspar MotoGP ride to Eugene Laverty.

Hiroshi Aoyama becomes Honda test rider in MotoGP

The 33-year-old's new position will begin immediately, with Honda giving him the 2015 version of its Open class bike to race in this weekend's season finale at Valencia.

He will hand development duties on the new machine over to current team-mate Nicky Hayden and Cardion's Karel Abraham in the post-race tests.

Honda Racing Corporation chief Shuhei Nakamoto said: "We are very pleased to confirm Hiro as a test rider for next year.

"He's done a very good job this year and especially in these final races.

"This is an important project for HRC and we believe that he will be a valued addition for the development of HRC machines in the future.

"We have a long relationship with Hiro, and we look forward to continuing this into the future."

Aoyama has contested 63 MotoGP grands prix since moving up with Interwetten in 2010 after beating Marco Simoncelli to the previous year's 250cc world title.

He had a stint with the factory team in mid-2011 standing in for the injured Dani Pedrosa, and made a brief switch to World Superbikes in 2012 before returning to MotoGP with first Avintia - his only non-Honda team of recent years - then current employer Aspar.

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