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Nakano aiming to be back amongst the points

Nakano aiming to be back amongst the points

After the disappointment of his brief Shanghai outing Shinya Nakano is aiming to bounce back this weekend at the Alice Grand Prix de France, with a strong performance at Le Mans.

After the disappointment of his brief Shanghai outing Shinya Nakano is aiming to bounce back this weekend at the Alice Grand Prix de France, with a strong performance at Le Mans.

The Konica Minolta Honda rider recorded his first DNF of the season through no fault of his own in China - after he was hit from behind by a late braking Makoto Tamada on lap three of the race. Fortunately he did not suffer any serious injury and intends to put things right in France.

Nakano is looking forward to the challenging and technical Le Mans circuit, a track where enjoyed a podium finish as a 250cc rider in 2000 and where he started second on the grid for last year's race. A decent showing from the 29 year old would see him add to the 15 World Championship points he has so far amassed in 2007.

Looking forward to the first of six European Grands Prix in hectic two month period, Nakano commented: "It's fair to say that we did not have a good weekend last time out in China, but I know the team and I will bounce back for Le Mans. Last year at the French GP I almost got pole, but eventually was bumped-back to second. This shows I can do it, so I'm very much looking forward to getting on the pace from the very first practice session."

Meanwhile Konica Minolta Honda manager Gianluca Montiron added an optimistic note ahead of a crucial Grand Prix for tyre suppliers Michelin and announced a new sponsorship deal for the team.

Montiron said: "I think Le Mans can be the place for us to improve our results. Michelin know the track and the tarmac of the famous Bugatti circuit well and I am sure that they will provide us with new tyres allowing Shinya to get a better feeling from the Honda RC212V. During the first four races the team tested many different settings but every time we had to revert to the setting that Shinya chose from the beginning of the season. This European round will be important because it's vital that we get a good result."

"On the business side of things, our organization is doing well and thanks to the services offered to our sponsors and partners, from Le Mans GP we will be joined by the multi-national company ‘Whirlpool'. I'm glad that another big sponsor enters MotoGP with JiR. Whirlpool will join us from the French GP until Assen and the target of this operation will be to approach the female world that could represent a new target audience for motorsport."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Shinya Nakano

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