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Jacque to race and test for Kawasaki

Jacque to race and test for Kawasaki

Jacque to race and test for Kawasaki

French rider Olivier Jacque will race for the factory Kawasaki Racing Team in the German and Valencia Grand Prix events in the 2005 MotoGP World Championship.

In addition to these two wild card appearances, Jacque has been signed as Kawasaki's test and development rider and is scheduled to complete 12 test days aboard the Ninja ZX-RR. Jacque's test role will include working with Kawasaki engineers on the development programme for the prototype 2006 model ZX-RR, and with Bridgestone technicians on tyre testing.

For the German and Valencia races Jacque will race a third Ninja ZX-RR machine alongside regular factory riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann.

"It is a very satisfying moment in my career to sign this new contract with Kawasaki, I have not had a full-time job in MotoGP for 18 months," Jacque said.

"I'm very motivated for the race and test programme Kawasaki have given me, I like both the German and Valencia circuits, and I think the ZX-RR has a very high potential. It is an honour to be the rider who will begin the testing of the 2006 prototype Kawasaki MotoGP machine."

The three-rider squad entered for Germany and Valencia is a further indication of Kawasaki's commitment to strengthen its presence in the world's premier motorcycle series.

"I'm delighted to have a rider of Olivier's talent in our team for two wild card races and the test programme," said Kawasaki Team Manager, Harald Eckl. "Olivier understands the ZX-RR and the way we go racing, he proved that with his excellent results in China and France."

"Having three riders on the grid at Sachsenring and Valencia is a boost to our race programme, and will provide additional data on both the bike and tyres at these circuits."

Jacque has already raced twice for Kawasaki this season, as substitute for the injured Hofmann in China and France. On a rain-soaked Shanghai track in May, Jacque rode superbly to finish second on the podium and deliver Kawasaki's best ever result in the premier class.

Kawasaki's technical director Ichiro Yoda said that planning had already started for the 2006 season and Jacque would play a pivotal role, in company with Nakano and Hofmann, in the test programme.

"As we begin to formulate our technical plan for 2006 the test programme will be very busy, so Olivier will play an important part in sharing the workload," Yoda said.

"By both racing and testing Olivier will better understand our technical plan for the ZX-RR, and this will also help to maintain his fitness."

"In parallel with the machine it is important to focus on tyre development and having Olivier as test rider will allow Kawasaki to maximise our test programme with Bridgestone. This is very important for the future."

Yoda added that the 2006 MotoGP racer will be "visibly different" from the current ZX-RR machine, as part of Kawasaki's strategy to be a competitive force in the MotoGP World Championship.

MotoGP, 2005, Kawasaki Racing Team

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