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Nakano clinches tenth in the championship

Nakano clinches tenth in the championship

Nakano clinches tenth in the championship

Shinya Nakano completed his mission this weekend by sealing a top ten place in the MotoGP World Championship in his debut season with Kawasaki. Nakano rode his Ninja ZX-RR into seventh place in the race to leapfrog Ruben Xaus and Marco Melandri in the championship standings after the Spaniard and the Italian both crashed out.

"My target was top ten in the championship and a strong result in the final race, so I'm happy to achieve both of those today," said Nakano. "I made a really good start, I was seventh in turn two, and was able to hold a place in the top ten even after a battle with Alex Barros.

"I couldn't run at the frontrunner's pace, but this is an excellent result for the ZX-RR. We have learnt a lot this season, so my thanks to Kawasaki and Bridgestone. I know that next year we will make even more progress in the MotoGP World Championship."

"I'm delighted that we achieved tenth in the championship with Shinya, which was a realistic goal for the Ninja ZX-RR this season," added Team Manager Harald Eckl. "The race performance today demonstrates all the hard work of everyone at Kawasaki and Bridgestone in what has been, at times, a difficult year.

"We had some mid-season tyre and engine problems, but everyone worked together to overcome those issues. Our aim next year is to move another step forward with our two contracted riders Shinya and Alex, who despite a poor start again showed his fighting spirit today.

"We will concentrate on two riders, but we are discussing the possibility of entering a third ZX-RR in the championship. If this can be organised and budgeted for, and a good rider is available, then three ZX-RR machines on the grid remains a possibility in 2005."

While the race season has concluded there is still work to do for the Fuchs Kawasaki squad. On Monday there is media ride day on the Ninja ZX-RR, followed by an afternoon tyre test session. Later in November their development program for the 2005 season kicks-off at the Jerez circuit in southern Spain, with a three day test before a seven week winter test ban.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAN PREMIO MARLBORO DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, Shinya Nakano

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