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MotoGP -Jacque and Nakano Togethre Again For Kawasaki
 
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MotoGP -Jacque and Nakano Togethre Again For Kawasaki - September 22nd 2005


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    Honest and development rider, Olivier Jacque, will replace the injured Alex Hofmann in the Kawasaki Racing Team for this Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix.

    Jacque has also been nominated to replace Hofmann for next week's Qatar GP in Doha. Jacque's call-up reunites the Frenchman with Kawasaki team leader, Shinya Nakano, with the pair also former 250cc teammates.

    The Sepang race will be Jacque's fourth race appearance for Kawasaki this season, having previously contested the Chinese, French and German Grand Prix events.

    Jacque's superb second place in the rain-soaked Chinese Grand Prix in May was a career-best performance - both for the rider and Kawasaki in MotoGP.

    Hofmann has returned to Germany and is undergoing treatment for the fractured left ankle he suffered in last Sunday's Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi. The Motegi injury added to the frustration of the German rider's injury-hit season.

    Nakano also failed to finish his home race at Motegi, with an engine problem sidelining his Ninja ZX-RR.

    But Nakano has put aside his Motegi frustration and is taking a "nothing to lose" approach to the remaining five races of the season - starting this weekend at one of his favourite tracks on the calendar.

    Nakano started third, on the front row, for this race in 2004 following a stunning qualifying lap and finished a strong eighth in the race. The Sepang circuit is 5.5 km in length, second only to Assen in terms of lap distance, with a race average speed of just over 160 kph.

    Combined with tropical temperatures that can reach a furnace-like 60 degrees, Sepang is a tough test of endurance and speed - for riders, machines and tyres.

    Since he last raced for Kawasaki at the German Grand Prix at the end of July, Jacque has been busy testing, training and celebrating his 32nd birthday, which was on August 29th.

    Jacque's testing duties have included sessions in both Europe and Japan, working with technicians from Kawasaki and tyre supplier Bridgestone on the MotoGP development programme.

    Shinya Nakano: #56

    "I have put the the disappointment of Motegi behind me and I am just looking ahead to get the best results - there is nothing to lose, just go for it as the Kawasaki team are not contenders for the championship. Sepang is a circuit that I like very much and last year in qualifying I did close to the perfect lap - third on the front row was very satisfying. The high speed corners here are critical to a fast lap, but in the race the slower hairpins are more important for overtaking. I'm looking for similar results this year, including a top ten race finish. We have the benefit of the winter test data from this track, plus I'm hoping to continue evaluation of Kawasaki's latest engine specification."

    Olivier Jacque: #19

    "It is a strange feeling to be a replacement in these circumstances. As a racer I feel bad for Alex, I know how difficult it is, but on the other hand it is an opportunity for me to be back on the ZX-RR and to show my ability. I didn't have a lot of time to get organised, I got a phone call at home in London last Sunday morning, and here I am at Sepang. This is not my favourite track, but I think our bike should handle quite well here, especially in the shorter corners. But there are two long straights, one after the other, which puts the emphasis on top speed. I've been testing and training so I'm fit, now I'm just looking for some good results - second place in China seems so long ago."