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Nakano happy with first Team D ´Antín outing

Nakano happy with first Team D ´Antín outing

Nakano happy with first Team D ´Antín outing

The official Yamaha tests at Jerez this week signalled the beginning of a new era for Shinya Nakano, who made his debut with Team Yamaha D´Antín. The Japanese rider starts his fifth World Championship season with the Spanish squad, and admitted feeling a mixture of nerves and optimism at the prospect.

`You are always a little bit unsure when you start with a new team, although that sensation disappears when you get on the bike and start riding. It is a competitive team and I have to adapt to it. I honestly feel that I have joined a really good team. Everybody was French in my old team and here there is a mixture of Spanish, Japanese, Italians and Brazilians but the communication is good between them and I have very positive reflections of our first test together´.

Nakano, who has ridden for the French Tech3 squad for the last four years, with two years in 250cc and two in MotoGP, reveals that he endured a difficult spell at the end of the 2002 season, when he was unsure of his Grand Prix future until the deal with Luís D´Antín was announced. `At times I felt more dead than alive, and of course I was delighted to hear that I will be riding in MotoGP next season. It was a mixed up sort of happiness because this team has been developed with Norick Abe as their rider, but Luis D´Antín told me that the contract was not a compromise with anybody - rather recognition of my ability´.

Looking back to the test in Spain earlier this week, Nakano added: `It was very badly affected by the rain and we could not develop our testing programme as we had planned. The positive thing was that I was able to ride without pressure for the first time on the M1 and I think we have found the right direction to work in. My objective is to gradually build my bike up to perfection.´ Nakano will now return to Japan to rest until the New Year, when he will return to Europe for further tests with the Spanish squad.

MotoGP, 2002, Shinya Nakano

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