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Shinya Nakano optimistic of a podium before the year is out

Shinya Nakano optimistic of a podium before the year is out

Shinya Nakano optimistic of a podium before the year is out

Shinya Nakano fulfils his ‘nice guy' persona by going about his racing business in quiet fashion. The Japanese rider has been almost invisible this year regularly filling the mid-top ten but not quite getting the Yamaha D´Antin machine into a position to crack the leading group.

Transferred out of the Gauloises squad at the end of 2002 to make way for Alex Barros, Nakano has had to adapt to life as part of a one rider team as well as continuing to try and get Yamaha´s new four-stroke set-up to his liking. So far the 25 year old has posted a best result of 5th in Italy and Catalunya and a lowest placing of 14th in France and along with Valentino Rossi is the only other rider in the series to have taken points at every race.

Now he enjoys a week or two of free time before the winner of six 250cc GPs and 19 podiums in both classes travels to Brno for round ten and a venue where his Spanish team has completed some valuable tests.

Here the Japanese rider comments on his season so far and what is to come:

´It has not been a smooth year. In some races I have been happy with what we have done and in others not. At the moment I would say I'm 70% content with 2003 so far. The main difficulty we have had is in the power transfer of the bike. The top speed is good but we had some problems controlling the power and getting it on the ground and this is why we have not made it to the front of a race. We have already tested at Brno and there we used a different engine that felt a lot better. The track is good for Yamaha as Max showed last year and everyone's speed is much higher. Generally the settings are good and after Brno I am feeling confident. I am very sure we will see a podium before the end of the season! I have no firm plans about 2004 at this moment. Of course I want to stay with Yamaha but it just depends with what team.´

MotoGP, 2003, Shinya Nakano

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