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Jurgen van den Goorbergh back in the points at Le Mans

Jurgen van den Goorbergh back in the points at Le Mans

Jurgen van den Goorbergh back in the points at Le Mans

After reappearing in the MotoGP scene only a couple of weeks ago for the Chinese GP, Jurgen van den Goorbergh was back at Le Mans on Sunday to pick up more points for the second consecutive time.

The Dutchman – who has been riding for Konica Minolta Honda as a stand-in for injured Japanese rider Makoto Tamada – had been away from MotoGP racing for more than two years before making a return for the Chinese GP in Shanghai, where he stunned onlookers by finishing in an impressive sixth place.

Van den Goorbergh was not initially scheduled for the French GP as Tamada had been confirmed fit to race after two weeks of speculation about his health. However, after just six practice laps of the Friday free practice, Tamada experienced significant pain and was deemed unfit to race, reopening the door for van den Goorbergh.

After being called in at the last minute, Van den Goorbergh finished the race in 14th place to pick-up two more points, even although he did not have sufficient time to prepare for the race.

"In the last two sessions we could not complete the work we had planned and before the race we had no idea of the type of tyre to use," said the Dutchman. "However, I have to admit that the tyres functioned very well and permitted me to gain confidence lap after lap. This is only my second MotoGP race and, therefore, I am satisfied with the results.

"I recovered several positions at the start, before having Bayliss in my sight. I thought I would be able to pass him but I made a mistake in the crucial moment and that cost me a couple of places.

"After that I decided not to risk loosing any more positions. During the race I was thinking about any changes I could make to my style of riding, but eventually felt comfortable. I am sure that if the weather conditions had helped us in the two days prior to the race, it could have been better."

Not only has van den Goorbergh picked-up points for his own tally, but he also boosted the Konica Minolta Honda scorecard. The team is now in eighth position in the over all team standings on 20 points, 12 of which have been racked-up by Van den Goorbergh.

"I am very pleased and I want to thank the Konica Minolta Honda team for having confidence in me and giving me the chance to race in both Grand Prix races, added Van den Goorbergh .

Giulio Bernardelle, technical director of Konica Minolta Honda, was thankful to the Dutchman for his efforts in the both races and with his help in further developing the motorcycle.

"We were conscious that there was going to be a big difference between riding on the wet and dry track, especially with regard to tyre choice. We also had to keep in mind that Van den Goorbergh is more used to riding in Supersport, which involves an entirely different style of riding.

"We could not expect too much in dry conditions but at least we obtained some good results and learned more about the RC211V, which well be helpful for future races."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX ALICE DE FRANCE

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