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Kawasaki riders happy with points

Kawasaki riders happy with points

Kawasaki riders happy with points

Kawasaki riders Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann were both relieved to finish the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky on Sunday in the points after starting the race from the last tow positions on the grid. Nakano finished in 12th place, just one tenth of second ahead of Hofmann after a furious battle over the final seven laps of the race.

"I made a good start, but in the early part of the race I couldn't push hard," explained Nakano. "I didn't feel comfortable with the set-up and I think we probably made a wrong rear tyre choice.

"The problem was lack of dry practice time, and I also suffered with front end chatter. Over the last five laps I pushed to stay in front of Alex, but even though I finished in the points after starting at the back of the field, I don't enjoy racing so far from the front. The test here over the next two days is now very important to me and to Kawasaki."

"It was a really enjoyable race, especially towards the end with Shinya and Jeremy McWilliams," said Hofmann. "I thought I had a chance to pass Shinya coming to the final corner on the last lap, but the yellow flags were out because of a crash. After the start it was difficult to pass in the early laps, but once the race settled down I found a good rhythm and got to the front of the group with McWilliams, Shinya and Xaus.

"After that it was a hard race right to the finish. It was a frustrating two days of qualifying in wet conditions, so getting some points is a bonus, but I hope we can make a step forward at the tests over the next two days."

Team Manager Harald Eckl was also pleased with the outcome. "It is satisfying to score points after starting from the back of the grid, but it was hard work for both Shinya and Alex," he said. "At the moment we don't have enough top end power, and that makes it difficult to pass on the straights, with the result that both riders lose time in the early stages of the race.

"If we had started closer to the front I'm sure we could have challenged the group for a top ten place. It was a tough weekend, but the test over the next two days, with new chassis, suspension and engine components, will hopefully provide some solutions for the coming races."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GAULOISES GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY, Kawasaki Racing Team

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