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Nakano takes points with the debut of new Kawasaki Ninja

Nakano takes points with the debut of new Kawasaki Ninja

Nakano takes points with the debut of new Kawasaki Ninja

Shinya Nakano snatched fifth place yesterday in the first leg of the Gran Premio Marlboro de España, putting his new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR through its paces to take 11 points.

Nakano settled into fifth place on lap one, riding alone for much of the first half of the race. Late on in the race he closed in on Brazilian Alex Barros as he tried to move up to forth, eventually finishing a close 0.7 seconds behind the Honda rider, a result with which he was thrilled.

"This is a fantastic start to the season for Kawasaki's new big-bang motor; I'm obviously very happy. All the engineers at Kawasaki have done an excellent job, the engine was strong and there is more performance to come. Also my Bridgestone tyres were very good in these conditions."

"From the start I pushed very hard, but I just could not stay with the leading group, it was difficult to keep pace riding alone. I kept pushing until the finish and even when Barros overtook me I could follow his pace and I didn't lose any more positions."

German team-mate Alex Hoffman finished in 11th position to grab five points. Having briefly moved into eighth position one lap one, Hoffman slipped back to battle it out with a tight bunch, consisting of double World Superbike champion Colin Edwards, Spaniard Carlos Checa and Max Biaggi, before finally finishing in 11th.

"That was a tough battle in the wind and on a very dusty track. I didn't make my best start, but I was able to make some moves and be eighth on lap one," commented Hoffman. "It was a very fast pace at the front and I had a very good race with the group that included Edwards, Checa and then Biaggi. I was able to run the same pace through most of the race and had no problems with the new big-bang motor or the Bridgestone tyres. I think I showed my potential today against the guys I raced with."

Team Manager Harald Eckl was very pleased about the team's result and the development made with the new "big-bang motor". The team says the bike is still in the early stages of development and they're very excited about things to come. The new Bridgestone tyres seemed to suit track conditions and Nakano was the first rider using Bridgestone tyres to cross the finish line.

"A very good start to the season with Shinya and Alex in the points, both with very consistent performances," said Eckl. "This race has confirmed the performance potential of our new firing order motor and the Bridgestone tyres. Thanks to the work of everyone in the Kawasaki Racing Team we now have a very strong platform on which to build for the rest of the season."

MotoGP, 2005, GRAN PREMIO MARLBORO DE ESPAÑA, Shinya Nakano, Kawasaki Racing Team

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