A Q&A with Mario Aji: Indonesia’s next great hope

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The addition of the new Mandalika Street Circuit to the MotoGP ™ calendar means it will be a historic year for the sport in Indonesia. The motorcycle racing mad nation has been dreaming of a World Championship visit for years, and in 2022 that will come true.

Not only will they see the best of the best compete, but they’ll also have a local favorite to cheer on in the form of Mario Aji. The Moto3 ™ rookie has had the opportunity to perform on the biggest stage thanks to Honda Team Asia.

A graduate of the Asia Talent Cup, Aji moved to Europe to compete in both the FIM CEV Moto3 ™ Championship and the Red Bull Rookies Cup, where a series of impressive performances saw him make his debut on the Grand Prix circuit, with the 17th wild card. year at the Emilia Romagna GP in 2021. The injury prevented him from another appearance at Portimao, but he doesn’t have to wait much longer for that second chance on the World Championship stage as he has secured a full-time seat for the next season.

Before he gets back on track, you can get to know Indonesia’s next great hope a little better thanks to this question and answer session.

We have seen you at many official activities these weeks. Does that mean that there are high expectations in Indonesia about your debut?

Yes, they appreciate my return from Spain, where I have lived and competed. They are waiting, but also, they are giving me a lot of support. So, I feel optimistic about my debut.

What is your goal for 2022?

First, learn as much as possible, enjoy each race with my new team, and most importantly, progress in each race.

What are your strengths and weaknesses as a cyclist? What do you feel you need to improve more?

My greatest skill is braking and overtaking on the outside. I need to improve my consistency and control my emotions.

How did you feel when you found out that you would compete in the World Championship in 2022?

I felt proud and super happy because this is my family’s dream. I want to make your dreams come true.

How is your recovery from a femur fracture going?

He is progressing very well; I feel stronger day by day, even though the bone is not fully connected. So, I need to be a little patient.

How damaging will it be to your preseason preparations?

Due to my injury, I feel like I lack a bit of preparation. Usually I should be training my body intensely these days, but now I must focus on recovery. I am convinced that physically I will return stronger than before.

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