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Fruitful return for Olivier Jacque

Fruitful return for Olivier Jacque

Fruitful return for Olivier Jacque

Olivier Jacque showed that his riding skills were still intact despite a break of almost a year in the Camel Grand Prix of Japan last Sunday. The former 250cc World Champion guided the Moriwaki MD211VF to eleventh place – aided by the unusually high number of crashes but hindered by a freak injury in the morning warm-up.

"I didn't expect to do so well," admitted Jacque. "After the qualifying it looked as though we were aiming for a top twenty finish. I thought that we could improve in the race because on Saturday afternoon I found a good tyre with Dunlop and the times were consistent. Unfortunately that didn't prove to be the case because it was so much hotter and more humid on Sunday so the tyre went off really quickly.

"Also, in the warm-up I had a crash and, even though I wasn't injured at all, I slipped a disc in my back trying to pick the bike up and as you can imagine that made it really difficult for the race.

"Thankfully, several of my fellow riders made life a little easier! There were a lot of crashes, the track was slippery and you had to concentrate hard to stay upright.

"I had an advantage of eleven seconds over McWilliams but I was lucky to finish ahead of him because I started to have fuel problems three laps from the end. The team had warned me that it might be a bit close so I closed off a little bit and lost seven seconds to McWilliams.

"It was pretty special for it to be my first race back and it's the team's best result of the season. They are obviously very proud and they deserve it. Ever since I first tested the bike they have worked non-stop to improve it and I think they have taken a notable step forward. Three weeks ago I could never have imagined this result."

After his successful return to action Jacque seems certain to make another appearance with Moriwaki before the end of the season. "For the moment we haven't made a decision on the programme and we won't know which Grand Prix we're taking part in. There has been talk about Malaysia but it's not certain. We'd also like to compete in the final round of the season at Valencia, although again there is nothing definite.

"I would definitely like to ride with Moriwaki for another race or two, because it would be interesting to see how the chassis evolves. After one race I've been able to evaluate the competitiveness of the bike and I've got new ideas as to how it can be developed. I want to give them my opinion and I want to ride the bike again, whether in a test or a race. It's always worth helping out teams who are really worth it."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, CAMEL GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN

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