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Hofmann signs full time deal with Kawasaki for 2004

Hofmann signs full time deal with Kawasaki for 2004

Hofmann signs full time deal with Kawasaki for 2004

Kawasaki Racing Team last night unveiled Alex Hofmann as a full-time rider for the 2004 MotoGP World Championship. The 23-year-old German has penned a one year deal after impressing team bosses as their European test and development rider and some solid wildcard performances in three races already this season. Hofmann had been linked with a move to Ducati for next season and revealed he had listened to offers from other factories before making his decision to continue his development on the Ninja ZX-RR.

"The fact that I've had offers from other MotoGP teams for next season is probably the worst kept secret in the paddock at the moment!" said the former 250cc German Champion. "Maybe if I had only been looking at next year then the decision as to who to ride for would have been a lot easier to make, but I have had to think beyond 2004 and I believe that staying with the Kawasaki Racing Team is the best option in terms of my future MotoGP career."

"If someone had told me two years ago that I'd be starting my first full season in MotoGP at the age of 23 I wouldn't have believed them. But it's happened and my job now is to make the most of this opportunity, both for myself and for Kawasaki. We've worked hard to develop the Ninja ZX-RR this season and I'm confident that the progress we've made so far will allow Kawasaki to field a much stronger package in 2004. Both Kawasaki and Harald Eckl have shown a lot of faith in my ability by giving me this chance, now it's down to me to prove their faith is justified."

Team Manager Harald Eckl added that it wasn't just Hofmann's efforts this season that earned him the ride: "Alex first came to my attention as a 16-year-old and, even then, it was obvious that he had the natural talent to compete at the very highest level," said the German former Grand Prix rider. "Since then I have watched his progress with interest and, at the end of the 2002 season, I had no hesitation in recommending him to Kawasaki for the role of European test and development rider."

"This season Alex has impressed with his mature and consistent approach, both to his test and development duties and to his wild card appearances for the team. During the past six months he has adapted well to the Ninja ZX-RR and developed his riding style to get the best from the bike; a fact borne out by his results as a wildcard rider. Alex has enormous potential and I am confident that we will see him develop further as a rider in 2004. His work on developing the Ninja ZX-RR this season will also mean that we will be able to supply him with more competitive machinery in 2004."


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