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Nakano takes first points with Kawasaki

Nakano takes first points with Kawasaki

Nakano takes first points with Kawasaki

Shinya Nakano described his mood as ‘relatively happy' after picking up four valuable points on his debut with Kawasaki at Welkom today. The Japanese former 250cc star handed the factory with their highest ever qualifying position in MotoGP after sealing sixth spot on the grid but was unable to hold his position in the race and eventually slipped out of the top ten after a battle with his former Yamaha colleagues. It was perhaps this that most frustrated Nakano but he took heart from the progress made by the team over the weekend and looked forward to another bite of the cherry at the next round in Spain.

"The bike was creeping a little on the line, which meant I missed the start as I tried to hold it back," explained Nakano, who won the 250cc race at this circuit in 2000. "Once I got away I couldn't stay with the guys at the front as the rear of the bike felt a little nervous.

"The bike settled itself down towards the middle of the race and from that point onwards I was able to match my lap times from practice. I had a good fight with Abe, Melandri and Checa from the halfway point of the race, but while I was able to pass Marco into the last turn on the final lap, I couldn't quite hold him off to the line.

"After qualifying sixth on the grid it was a little disappointing not to have finished in the top ten here today. On the other hand, after my first race aboard the Kawasaki I now know that we are capable of beating factory bikes and battling for position with the latest factory Yamaha. Overall, although I would have liked to finish in the top ten, I'm relatively happy with the today's result".

MotoGP, 2004, BETANDWIN.COM AFRICA'S GRAND PRIX, Shinya Nakano, Kawasaki Racing Team

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