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Shinya sets his sights on championship push

Shinya sets his sights on championship push

Shinya sets his sights on championship push

After the results of the recent IRTA tests, it seems that the white flag, which was raised on behalf of the 2-stroke prototypes by so many in the face of the 4-stroke revolution, might just have been a little premature. The legendary 500cc machines outshone their new generation counterparts in the first public confrontation of the two at the Ricardo Tormo circuit in Valencia last week and continue to do so in Estoril, adding credence to the theory that the inaugural season of the MotoGP category might not be as cut and dried as some had dared to assume.

One of the week's best performers has been Gauloises Yamaha Tech 3 rider, Shinya Nakano, and the Japanese star, although wary of the 4-strokes' potential, certainly isn't entertaining thoughts of throwing in the championship towel.

'I'm really satisfied with the way things have gone, but we understand there is still much to do. I know how fast the 4-strokes can be, but still believe the 2-strokes can win. I will continue to work very hard and give my best for the team', said the 24 year-old. 'We know it will be a very difficult season, but like two years ago, I hope myself and Olivier (Jacque) can push each other on to really great things.'

Nakano last year enjoyed an excellent first season in GP's blue riband class, producing a string of consistent performances and ending the term as Rookie of the Year. This time around he will be a dark horse for many, and the rider himself now feels that he is ready to make a genuine title push. 'This is my fourth season in Grand Prix, and I now feel accustomed to the European lifestyle and all the travelling involved which was very hard for me at the beginning. Last year I was just a challenger, but this year my aim is to win, I don’t know how many Grand Prix, but I want to win.'

500cc, 2001

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