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Italian anti-climax for Jacque

Italian anti-climax for Jacque

A Gran Premio d'Italia Alice weekend that promised so much ended in frustration for Olivier Jacque as he made his comeback from his right forearm injury sustained in Shanghai, starting from fourth on the grid but ultimately ending up with no points as he finished 16th.

A Gran Premio d'Italia Alice weekend that promised so much ended in frustration for Olivier Jacque as he made his comeback from his right forearm injury sustained in Shanghai, starting from fourth on the grid but ultimately ending up with no points as he finished 16th.

The Frenchman at least finished the race having crashed out in Turkey and missing China and then his home race at Le Mans as he recovered from his arm injury. But after qualifying on the second row during a complicated and wet qualifying session in Italy he will be disappointed to have struggled so much in dry conditions during the Mugello race.

In truth, after storms on Friday and Saturday at the Tuscan venue, Jacque and his mechanics were hoping for more rain during the race itself and although heavy cloud hovered over the Italian circuit, the showers held off and the hoped for results failed to materialise.

The former 250cc World Champion made a good start but soon lost ground and never managed to achieve the pace to keep him in with the front-runners, as his bike set-up and the performance of his Bridgestone tyres let him down over the race distance of 120.635 km.

Lack of strength in his injured right arm meant it was an uncomfortable ride into 16th place, but it was a valiant effort and he will hope to have rehabilitated himself further ahead of the forthcoming visit to Catalunya this weekend.

Overall it was a difficult day for Kawasaki with Jacque's colleague and compatriot Randy de Puniet making a poor start from seventh on the grid before crashing on lap two at the notorious Arrabbiata corner.

Reflecting on a tough contest the brave Jacque commented: "I finished the race, which was our priority, and I was surprised to be able to keep the rhythm, but now I am really exhausted."

"The race was in dry conditions and this track is really demanding as well, so after seven laps I started to lose the strength in the arm. I couldn't be precise and I didn't want to take any risks and, instead, save energy for the rest of the race. I was sweating a lot for the last laps. I tried to overtake Guintoli and Tamada. Unfortunately, they were stronger than I was on the brakes at the end of the straight and I couldn't take advantage of our engine. This is the first step and I am sure that Barcelona is going to be better."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA ALICE

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