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Double blow for Kawasaki on home soil

Double blow for Kawasaki on home soil

Double blow for Kawasaki on home soil

Just one year on from Shinya Nakano clinching Kawasaki's first MotoGP podium at Motegi, the Japanese factory suffered a hugely disappointing 2005 Japanese GP. Nakano suffered an engine problem which forced his retirement on lap nine when he was pushing for a top 10 position, while team-mate Alex Hofmann broke his left ankle after a collision with Roby Rolfo.

"I'm absolutely devastated; yet another disaster and another stupid injury," said Hofmann, who will miss the next two races after undergoing surgery today in Munich "We just don't have the top speed in our bike to overtake on the straights, so we have to pass into the turns on the brakes. But even then you have to make up at least 20 metres on the brakes before you're even close enough to pass."

"I went up the inside of Ukawa into the corner and I had no other option but to go under Roby as well, as he'd run wide of the apex," explained the German. "Unfortunately, he didn't know I was there and turned in right in front of me; we collided and both ended up in the gravel. I'm sorry for Roby, he did nothing wrong. I guess I will just have to wait and see what the doctors in Munich say about my ankle, but I'm fairly confident that a return to racing at Phillip Island will be possible."

Nakano commented: "It was not a good day for the Kawasaki Racing Team. On the first couple of laps I was able to overtake and move up to 11th behind the Honda riders, Barros and Hayden, although we were a long way back and it was difficult to see the front group. I thought I had the potential to pass the Honda guys, but then I suffered the same problem with the engine as I suffered yesterday. At this track you are using low gears and high revs a lot during each lap. I like both Sepang and Doha, the next races, but we have to fix this problem if we want to see the chequered flag."

MotoGP, 2005, GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, Kawasaki Racing Team

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