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Nakano back on track while Hofmann sets the pace

Nakano back on track while Hofmann sets the pace

Nakano back on track while Hofmann sets the pace

Kawasaki Racing's Shinya Nakano resumed testing at Jerez on Thursday, despite the minor but painful injury sustained on the previous day. His team-mate Alex Hofmann improved his lap time and was the fastest MotoGP rider on the track.

Nakano completed 57 laps of the Jerez circuit, as he worked with engineers from Japan and Europe to improve throttle response on the big bang version of Kawasaki's 990cc, inline four-cylinder Ninja ZX-RR motor.

"The focus today was again on the big bang engine. We know from the Sepang test that this engine has a number of advantages over the old one, but there is still a lot of set-up work to do if we are to realise it's full potential," said Nakano, who clocked his best lap in 1'42.69.

"This is what we concentrated on today. At the moment we are working to improve throttle response, because the throttle still feels a little disconnected from the engine when you get on the gas, but we also need to collect the data necessary to further the development of the big bang Ninja ZX-RR. We will run the same engine again tomorrow, but with slightly different settings."

Alex Hofmann made the most of the improved weather conditions to complete 81 laps of the Jerez circuit, during a test schedule focussed on evaluating revised chassis components on his screamer-engined Ninja ZX-RR. The 24-year-old German rider saw an improvement in his lap time, which he attributed to more traction from the rear and better acceleration out of the turns.

"Today we tested the modifications made to the chassis after the Sepang test at the beginning of the year," commented Hofmann, who set the fastest time in 1'42.4. "Track conditions weren't really ideal for testing today but, overall, the results have been positive. I managed to improve my lap time and the bike definitely feels better accelerating out of the turns; it just seems to hook up better when you get hard on the gas. We'll continue the evaluation tomorrow."

Kawasaki test rider, Kazuki Shimizu, was again on hand today to assist Nakano with development work on the new ZX-RR engine. The Kawasaki Racing Team will complete their three-day test schedule at the Jerez circuit on Friday.

MotoGP, 2005, Shinya Nakano

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