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Olivier Jacque remains patient in the hope of better times ahead

Olivier Jacque remains patient in the hope of better times ahead

Olivier Jacque remains patient in the hope of better times ahead

Since the beginning of the season Olivier Jacque has been regularly qualifying on the second row of the grid, but through a mixture of outdated machinery and bad fortune, he has scarcely had the chance to show of what he is capable in the races proper. At last weekend´s Gran Premio Cinzano D´Italia in Mugello it was the same old story for the Frenchman.

Injured at this point of the season last year, the Gauloises Yamaha Tech3 rider had to overcome a lack of knowledge of the Tuscan circuit on board the Yamaha YZR500 to take sixth place on the starting grid, his best qualifying result of the campaign. ´I didn´t get the chance to race here last year on the 500, and so this time I had to learn the best lines and also work hard on the set-up of the bike,´ said the 28 year-old. ´It wasn´t such an easy process, but once I had mastered it I was able to push and take the sixth place.´

The race itself was another matter for the 250cc World Champion of 2000. ´I made a bad tyre choice for the race, and was beaten off the line by Capirossi. Suddenly I found myself right back in the pack at the first corner, and badly placed to try and make up ground. After that I had to concentrate on saving my tyres which were too soft, and could only really begin to attack towards the end of the race.´

After having protected his Michelin rubber sufficiently, the Frenchman was able to climb up to ninth place, just behind the Aprilia of compatriot Regis Laconi. However his Yamaha 2-stroke couldn´t match the power of the RS3 prototype, one of the quickest bikes in the field down the long home straight at Mugello, and so Jacque had to settle for maintaining his position. ´At the end of the race I was behind Laconi, but I didn´t even try to pass him as he would have simply overtaken me on the straight. I think Capirossi had a good idea when he proposed bringing the finish line forward as the 2-strokes really suffered at a track like this.´

This end to the race rather summed up Jacque´s season to date, a perfect illustration of the impotence of the traditional 2-stroke machines in the face of their new 990cm³ rivals. ´The situation at the moment is very frustrating´, insisted the Frenchman. ´This year is without doubt a transitional year for the class, but the problem is that the riders do not have the same equipment available to them to show their real worth.´

Jacque went on to add unhesitatingly that results at the moment are not the be-all and end-all, this is not to say however that the Frenchman will be giving anything less than his very best. ´Victory seems out of our reach at the moment, but you can always try to cause a shock. All I can do is remain patient, and hope that I am given a 4-stroke to ride as soon as possible.´

MotoGP, 2002

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