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Eckl satisfied with Kawasaki progress

Eckl satisfied with Kawasaki progress

Eckl satisfied with Kawasaki progress

Kawasaki Racing Team Manager Harald Eckl has reflected positively on the weekend's action in South Africa, where both Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann made encouraging progress over the course of the weekend. Nakano sealed the factory's highest ever MotoGP grid position in sixth place on Saturday afternoon before finishing twelfth in Sunday's race, whilst rookie Hofmann showed more than the odd glimpse of class despite stalling on the grid and crashing out after qualifying 13th.

`I feel sorry for Alex because he showed good potential during practice and qualifying, with lap times close to Shinya's, and he looked almost certain for a points scoring finish today,´ reflected Eckl, himself a former Grand Prix racer.

His run of bad luck started with his crash in final qualifying on Saturday, which was followed by his stalling on the line and then crashing again whilst chasing hard to make up for the bad start today.

`Overall I'm satisfied with what we've achieved with Shinya. Although we had a fantastic qualifying session, we knew that it was going to be difficult to maintain the same position in the race. Theoretically we knew we could hope for a top ten finish in the race and, while we were close, we just weren't quite close enough.´

`Everyone has improved over the winter, including us, but the gap to the leading riders has not decreased significantly - which just goes to show the quality of this championship. After this weekend's performance we are looking forward to the races ahead, especially Jerez, where we had a successful test recently.´

MotoGP, 2004, Kawasaki Racing Team

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