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Olivier Jacque's incredible comeback

Olivier Jacque's incredible comeback

Olivier Jacque's incredible comeback

Former 250cc World Champion Olivier Jacque made his return to the MotoGP scene with the Kawasaki Racing Team at the Chinese Grand Prix having been drafted in as a temporary replacement for Alex Hofmann, who had sustained fractures to the ulna and scaphoid bones in his left wrist when he crashed during a promotional event ahead of the Portuguese Grand Prix.

Despite the fact that his MotoGP experience over the previous 12 months had been limited to infrequent wild card appearances for Moriwaki, Jacque proved that he had lost none of the skills that took him to a World Championship title in 2000.

At Kawasaki he once again teamed up with Shinya Nakano, his colleague in both the 250cc and MotoGP classes for the Tech 3 team where the duo rode Yamahas. Jacque had not been on a racing bike during seven months before the Chinese GP, but managed to take an incredible second place in his first GP outing with Kawasaki - his first ever podium in the class.

It was a spectacular debut ride for Kawasaki by the Frenchman. Starting 15th, he finished the 22-lap race with a dramatic late surge for victory, ending up just 1.7s adrift of race winner, and four-time world champion, Valentino Rossi.

Jacque made up almost four seconds over the final five laps with a near perfect display of bike and throttle control in a rain-hit race. The Kawasaki rider was ninth on lap two and, by the time he splashed past Spaniard Sete Gibernau to secure second place on lap 15, the Frenchman was still 6.1s behind Rossi. In his pursuit of the Italian, Jacque even overcame a foggy visor and windscreen which made it almost impossible to read his pit-board and race position.

MotoGP, 2005

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