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Nakano and Hofmann head to Paul Ricard

Nakano and Hofmann head to Paul Ricard

Nakano and Hofmann head to Paul Ricard

Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann have one final date to keep before enjoying a winter holiday as the Fuchs Kawasaki team head to France on Monday for a wet tyre test.

After three days of development work with the Ninja ZX-RR at Jerez last week, the pair will be at the Paul Ricard circuit to try out the latest range of Bridgestone rain rubber before heading to their homes in Japan and Switzerland respectively for a well-earned rest.

"My main job over the three days was engine work, as we need this information to prepare for the 2005 season," said Nakano of the Jerez sessions. "It was important to confirm the performance data we logged during the season, and also to test some new components.

"I tested different crankshaft set-ups, fuel injection throttle bodies and a revised cylinder head specification. In the tyre tests I found a very good front tyre from Bridgestone, which was a definite step forward from our race tyres at the end of the season.

"Although it will be good to relax, my focus is already on next season; everyone at Kawasaki is motivated to improve our performance."

Hofmann was also keen to use the Jerez test to make improvements as he looks to build on a positive rookie season in 2005. "The weather was perfect for three days; I've never seen it so consistently good at Jerez," said the German. "My main job was to confirm the set-up work we have done this year, to provide information so the engineers can check the direction for next year.

"It was important to do this in the back-to-back situation of a three-day test. We also did some work to make me more comfortable on the bike because of my height; I'm much taller than Shinya.

"I did consistent laps of 1'42" in my race distance simulation, and my fastest lap on race tyres was 0.7s faster than my qualifying time in May. I think the direction we found at this test, with both the ZX-RR and the Bridgestone tyres, is going be a very good direction for the engineers over the winter."

MotoGP, 2004, Shinya Nakano

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