Feb 7, 2012
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Former MotoGP racer Nobuatsu Aoki (center) with riding students in Indonesia.
Former MotoGP racer and Suzuki test rider Nobuatsu Aoki talks about his recent visit to Indonesia to coach Suzuki's Indoprix riders.
I have just got back to Japan after visiting countries around Asian. I guess many people already know this as some websites, including Team Suzuki Racing, reported I was in Indonesia as a guest of Suzuki Motor Indonesia to train Suzuki's Indoprix riders.
Indoprix is the main racing championship in Indonesia and is very popular and fiercely contested. It's the first time I have trained riders outside Japan and on machinery that I have never ridden. In Japan I own a local junior team near my home in Gunma and teach our riders often. Also I sometimes run Suzuki customer schools for owners of Suzuki GSX-R Supersport machines, which I am used to.
Before the trip to Indonesia I searched the internet for more information on Indoprix and found some videos on You Tube. I was very surprised at the really high level of competition and competitiveness. At the School at the Kenjeran circuit in Surabaya, I found the standard of riders and their skills very high so we concentrated initially on mainly suspension set-up and improving lap times with help from a GPS Data Logger that we brought along.
The coaching program started in damp conditions but the riders really pushed hard despite of this. I rode the FW110 Titan and found the rear suspension rebounding settings were not ideally set up so we concentrated on improving this. I also wanted the riders to fully-understand how the suspension works and how it can be set up, so for this purpose we prepared three different suspension settings to try. This, with the help of the GPS data logger, worked very well and I think everyone learned a lot about the importance of suspension set up.
On the second day we covered more about the actual racing; practicing starts, mental preparation and how to go faster and smoother, although I feel we needed more time overall for one-on-one rider coaching as two days just wasn't long enough. I believe the school was a success and I'd like to thank Suzuki Indomobil Motor for giving me this opportunity to visit and run this event - I would really like to go back again in the future to run another school and also see how Suzuki's riders have progressed.