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Classic duels: Jacque v.s. Nakano 250cc 2000

 Classic duels: Jacque v.s. Nakano 250cc 2000

Classic duels: Jacque v.s. Nakano 250cc 2000

In today´s history class, we review one of MotoGP´s greatest duels: Two teammates not afraid to duke it out with each other in order to reach the chequered flag first.

When Frenchman Olivier Jacque was called in to replace the injured Alex Hoffman for the Shanghai and Le Mans Grands Prix last year, he was reunited with former teammate and rival Shinya Nakano at Kawasaki Racing.

The riders have been closely linked since the 1999 season, when Nakano competed in his first full 250cc competition with the French Yamaha Tech3 outfit. He immediately proved to be a match for Jacque, and when the 2000 season came around we saw one of the closest fights for the crown ever seen in the quarter litre class.

The following season the two riders and their Yamaha Tech3 Team moved up a class to MotoGP. Nakano was an instant hit, earning the Rookie of the Year award and finishing fifth overall, whilst Jacque had a lacklustre season and ended the season in 15th.

With the introduction of the 4-stroke bikes in 2002, things proved more difficult for the Japanese and the Frenchman as they had to contend with the old 500cc 2-stroke while the frontrunners pulled away on their 990cc thumpers. The following year, they parted company as Nakano moved to d'Antin Yamaha and Jacque remained at Yamaha Tech3 for what was to be his last full campaign in the premier class.

In 2004 Nakano once again moved teams, heading to the new Kawasaki Racing Team. Jacque participated in two Grands Prix helping out Moriwaki Racing, before the 2005 season rolled round and we once again saw a Nakano-Jacque pairing on the grid.

MotoGP, 2006

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