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Kawasaki anticipate Turkish test

Kawasaki anticipate Turkish test

Kawasaki anticipate Turkish test

After a welcome two-week break following the Qatar Grand Prix, the Kawasaki Racing Team head across the Bosporus to Asia for this weekends Grand Prix of Turkey, at the impressive Istanbul Park circuit.

Built at a cost of 155 million Euros, the Istanbul Park circuit was designed by renowned German architect, Hermann Tilke, who was also responsible for the Grand Prix circuits at Sepang in Malaysia and Shanghai in China.

The anti-clockwise track packs 14 turns - eight lefts and six rights - into it's undulating 5.340km length, with a number of the turns based on classic corners from other racetracks around the world, such as Suzuka's Spoon Curve and the infamous Eau Rouge at the Belgian circuit of Spa Francorchamps.

While last year's inaugural Turkish Grand Prix was held in October, when temperatures where low, the move to a late April date for this years race should result in the higher temperatures more suited to the Kawasaki Racing Team's Bridgestone tyres.

Shinya Nakano suffered grip and handling problems during a hard fought race for tenth place last year in Istanbul, but the 28-year-old Japanese rider returns this year confident that the new Ninja ZX-RR will allow him to significantly improve on his result from six months ago.

Nakano's Kawasaki teammate, Randy de Puniet, has had a difficult start to his debut MotoGP season, after injury and a crash meant he was unable to finish in the first two races of the season. The 25-year-old Frenchman rates the Istanbul Park circuit as one of his favourites, and he travels to Turkey determined to secure his first MotoGP World Championship points this weekend.

Shinya Nakano

"Last year we had some problems at Istanbul Park. We were struggling to find grip and the bike didn't turn as quickly as some of the more technical corners demanded. But this year I think we go back to Istanbul in a much stronger position. The new Ninja ZX-RR should be well suited to the track layout, with it's combination of technical and high speed turns, and we know that Bridgestone have worked hard over the winter to eliminate some of the problems we experienced last season. I'm looking forward to getting back on the bike again after a two-week break, and I'm confident that we can put in a strong performance in Istanbul this weekend."

Randy de Puniet: #17

"At both Jerez and Qatar we reached a good level with the bike, but luck was against us and I was unable to finish either race. So, my first priority this weekend in Istanbul is to reach the chequered flag and score my first MotoGP championship points. The Istanbul Park circuit is one of the best on the calendar. It is quite technical, but then you have high-speed turns as well, like the incredible turn 11 halfway down the back straight. You need to commit to this turn, because backing off the throttle too early can lose you a lot of speed, and time, in the run down to the final chicane. It's a real test of nerve! I'm looking forward to the weekend ahead and, with the Ninja ZX-RR, I think we have a chance of a good result in Istanbul."

MotoGP, 2006, GRAND PRIX OF TURKEY, Kawasaki Racing Team

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