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Jacque talks about his triumph in China

Jacque talks about his triumph in China

Jacque talks about his triumph in China

After his magnificent second place finish in the Shanghai GP, Olivier Jacque recalls the extraordinary action that permitted him to savour the first MotoGP podium of his sporting career and give Kawasaki its best result in MotoGP.

Q: Going into the race, did you imagine you would to be able to achieve this result?

A: Of course not. It's been two years since I've been a MotoGP competitor. Last year I only participated as a replacement for Moriwaki in the GP of Japan and in Valencia. When Hofmann was injured, Kawasaki called me with very short notice and the truth is that I did not have time to prepare physically. Apart from the training that we did before leaving for China, I had never tested the ZX-RR. Besides, the pneumatic Bridgestones were also new for me; not to mention the Shanghai circuit. Really, there were too many things that I did not know.

Q: Did you experience any problems during the race?

A: Yes, the truth is that I had many difficulties with the viewfinder of my helmet. Water got into the visor and I could not see very well going into the curves, it was a horrible. I lost a little time in when I was trying to catch Gibernau, but it is because I did not have visibility. I opened the visor to help me see better. When I passed Sete I felt the heat of the motor, that caused felt me a little better. But was a hell. The idea to abandon the overtake passed through my head but I was determined.

P: Did you think you would reach Rossi?

R: One cannot rewrite history but, but if I hadn't had problems with my visor, I think that victory would have been within my reach. I lost a lot of time trying to pass my rivals but finally got passed Gibernau. If it had happened earlier on, I believe that I could have finished ahead of Valentino. I finished second by seven tenths of a second – I lost more time than that through lack of lack of visibility.

Q: How did you feel when crossed the finish line?

A: I felt incredible! I gave it my best. This is as important to me as the title of 250cc World Champion in 2000. I fought for three years to get on a MotoGP podium. I was ready in the 2002 GP of Germany, before clashing with Alex Barros. It was a great day for me. I think I surprised everyone, me being the first. I imagine that Rossi´s team did not expect to see the name OJ on the pitboard when I was coming up behind

P: How did the bike run?

R: The motorcycle and the tires functioned perfectly from the first curve. I was very comfortable with the layout of the motorcycle. The team carried out great work and set the bike to my preferences. My confidence on the bike was growing with each lap. I would like to thank Kawasaki and Bridgestone.

Q: Were you worried about the track conditions?

A: Not really, if we discount the problems with the visibility, the motorcycle functioned very well. I had a few problems but was able to recover. In one occasion, I was going close to the line, but I knew how to resolve the situation. I was controlled always and I could take measures on the adhesion. Q: How have settled into the official team of Kawasaki?

R: I did not arrive at an unknown land; I had already worked with Yoda, the engineer, when I started with Yamaha. We have always understood each other and there is a lot of mutual respect. The same with the chief mechanic Christophe Bourguignon – my suspension engineer when I won my first GP in Brazil in 1996. As for Shinya Nakano, he has been my friend and rival during several seasons in Tech 3. It is an important experience to with them again and this encounter has been loaded with emotions. Q: Shinya retired..

A: A pity, especially in his 100th GP. Being let down by electric problems is a pain. He has done great work with Kawasaki for two years. He has been the one who has helped the team evolve. I obtained that result on Sunday thanks to him. The fact that I had my first GP to replace him on his 100th makes it even more emotional.

Q: Are you open to the prospect of MotoGP?

Is too soon to tell it. What counts now is the Great Prize of France in Le Mans in a few days. I am very proud to be able to participate in the French GP in front of all the fans. I will try to do my best. But the second place in Shanghai is an exceptional feat and cannot be obtained every weekend. Everyone should be conscious of that, and I am the first one. I have asked Claude Michy, the organizer of the French GP, to light a candle so that it rains in Le Mans!


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