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Eckl announces Nakano departure

Eckl announces Nakano departure

Eckl announces Nakano departure

Speaking after the first day of practices for the Grande Premio de Portugal, Kawasaki Team Manager Harold Eckl shot down reports linking him to two very different riders in 2007, and confirmed that Shinya Nakano would be leaving the team at the end of the season. "With Shinya having decided not to continue with Kawasaki next year, we are looking at another rider to join our team," Eckl told this afternoon, before running down a list of rumoured replacements.

Harald Bartol had confirmed yesterday that KTM rider Hiroshi Aoyama had been in contact with Kawasaki about a possible move, although Eckl ruled out an approach for the Japanese 250cc star as he "has an existing deal with KTM that we expect him to honour, and respect the team's contracts."

With a move for Aoyama dead in the water, another rider linked with the Japanese team has been Max Biaggi. The former MotoGP star has already signed a deal to ride in World Superbikes for Suzuki, but this past week has been the subject of much speculation.

Eckl also commented on one rider who definitely WILL ride in green next year, Frenchman Randy de Puniet, and the first day of practices in Estoril for the Kawasaki team in the exclusive interview.

MotoGP, 2006, GRANDE PREMIO DE PORTUGAL, Shinya Nakano

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