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Nakano looks to the future with optimism

Nakano looks to the future with optimism

Nakano looks to the future with optimism

After his union with the Kawasaki set-up, Shinya Nakano has emerged as the leader of the team, a role that until up to now had been an unfamiliar one for the rider within MotoGP. The 26 year old finally decided at the end of last season to breakaway from Yamaha, with whom he had been associated for the better part of his career, and expressed his content with the decision and the thought of the challenge that lay ahead. Team Green have completed four pre-season tests and at different sessions it was easy to see the clear evolution of the 2004 Ninja ZX-RR.

"After the first tests in Sepang and Phillip Island, we then went on to the official sessions at Catalunya and Jerez and afterwards we agreed that the bike was making progress day by day," explained Nakano. "We have changed the new bike at every track because, obviously it is the first time I have ridden at the circuits with the Kawasaki. The bike has a good configuration and that allows me to control it in the corners with confidence. I have asked the technicians to work on the handling of the bike out of the turns because the engine is really aggressive. The first day at Jerez I noted an improvement and was able to set a good time. I know that my rivals were there and almost have their bikes working perfectly but our project has just started and we have to work more. However, there is a great atmosphere in the team".

The Japanese factory have changed their tyre supplier. They have stopped with Dunlop and will now go into the new season armed with Bridgestone. Nakano, who has always been used to Michelins with Yamaha, is now having to adapt to the new rubber: "Regarding the Bridgestones, I have to say that things are going well. In Barcelona we hoped it would not be so cold and in those conditions it is hard to try compounds with any kind of consistency. At Jerez the temperature was better, we found two tyres that we liked and I think we are going in the right direction".

After the last day of work in Jerez, in which they could not complete all of their intended plans because of the rain, Nakano had further ideas of continuing his physcial training in Japan. "I will go and prepare myself physically right up until the trip to Welkom. I am optimistic about the future; In the first race I want to maintain the position I achieved at Jerez, that is to say I will be aiming for seventh at least".

MotoGP, 2004, Shinya Nakano

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