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Jacque hoping to help Hopkins and West with rear grip

Jacque hoping to help Hopkins and West with rear grip

The apparent Achilles heel in Kawasaki´s Ninja ZX-RR-Bridgestone package at present, improving rear grip was high on test rider Olivier Jacque´s agenda at Catalunya this week.

Although unfavourable weather conditions restricted the testing sessions at the Circuit de Catalunya earlier this week test rider Olivier Jacque still managed to put in 90 valuable laps as he attempted to improve the competitiveness of Kawasaki´s race package.

After further frustration at the Gran Premi Cinzano de Catalunya for the team, with John Hopkins injuring his back in practice before finishing tenth in the race and Anthony West continuing his run of poor form in twelfth position, Jacque is hoping he has provided some useful data for Kawasaki´s engineers and mechanics.

Hopkins only tested briefly on Monday due to his back condition before leaving early for a scan on the injury, while West headed to Japan for private tests to assist him in his current plight.

That meant the onus was on former 250cc World Champion Jacque to take forward the test work, with the Frenchman telling, `This time after the weekend it was very difficult because John and Anthony were struggling with rear grip, so we decided to come here.´

`I tried to check the bike to work on the suspension, mainly the shocks. My feeling is that we have found some good solutions for the future so I hope it will be better for Kawasaki at the other tracks.´

Explaining why `Team Green´ had shelved development plans on their `screamer´ engine which made several test appearances earlier this year, Jacque was candid in his comments. `We had some bad tests at Le Mans, it was not very interesting so we have to try and go much further with what we already know,´ referring to reverting to work on the current, conventional Ninja ZX-RR.

Dispelling recent speculation about another supposed revolutionary Kawasaki development, Jacque also commented, `I heard about a five-cylinder in-line, but I have never seen this engine and it is just a rumour.´

MotoGP, 2008, Kawasaki Racing Team

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