Press Release
(2005 FIM Road Racing World Championship)
Kawasaki Racing Team


Kawasaki rider Olivier Jacque is set for a popular home-coming at Le Mans this
weekend for the French Grand Prix, the fourth round of the MotoGP World

Following his magical wet weather ride into second place in last week's Chinese
Grand Prix, Jacque has ensured that he will be the focus of attention at his
home race this weekend.

The China result was the best ever in the elite class of GP racing for both
Jacque and the factory Kawasaki team. It also delivered Bridgestone's first wet
tyre podium finish since their entry into MotoGP.

It is now two years since Jacque raced at Le Mans and he anticipates an
'incredible atmosphere' for the French Grand Prix. In 2003 Jacque finished
fourth in this race.

Jacque will again race alongside Kawasaki's number one rider Shinya Nakano, as
the temporary replacement for the injured Alex Hofmann.

But despite his fairytale comeback in Shanghai, Jacque is under no illusions
about the task he faces at Le Mans. The highly competitive nature of MotoGP
ensures that last week's glory will count for little once the race starts in

The stop-and-go layout of the 4.18 km Le Mans circuit, with its emphasis on hard
braking and sharp acceleration, will be a very different challenge to that faced
in China.

Since his superb performance in Shanghai, Jacque has been flat out in the
build-up to Le Mans.

After returning to his London home Jacque has been busy with both media
interviews and his training schedule. He returned to France earlier this week to
conduct a rider training course at the Dijon circuit, before travelling to Le
Mans to continue preparations for his home GP.

After the disappointment of his early retirement from the China race, Nakano is
focused on delivering another polished performance at Le Mans.

The French Grand Prix is one of Nakano's favourite races, as the popular
Japanese rider lived in France when he raced for the Tech3 squad.

Nakano expects that the increasingly competitive performance of the Ninja ZX-RR
will provide an opportunity for him to regain his place in the top six of the
championship points.

Shinya Nakano: # 56

"Le Mans is a very different type of circuit, acceleration and braking stability
are very important because of the stop-go layout. In the past it has not been
ideal for Kawasaki, but with our new engine and the latest electronic parts for
the fuel injection I expect the Ninja ZX-RR will be much more competitive. This
year our chassis is more stable at the rear, with better traction under
acceleration and improved balance, which will help us at Le Mans; as will the
latest generation of Bridgestone tyres. I'm always happy to be at this race
because I lived in the south of France for four years, I have a good feeling
here and I have some friends coming to the race."

Olivier Jacque: #19

"It is a long time since I have raced at Le Mans and there are always high
expectations for the French riders, I'm sure the atmosphere will be incredible.
But I'm not feeling stressed or under pressure. In fact, I'm appreciating the
support from the fans and I'm really comfortable to be racing in my home Grand
Prix; for sure it will be a big party. After my 'magic' race in Shanghai I'm not
sure what to expect at Le Mans, it is difficult for me to predict the
performance of the Ninja ZX-RR at this track because I still don't have a lot of
experience on the bike. But I'm aiming to be very competitive; the support of
the Kawasaki team is giving me a lot of confidence, as are the Bridgestone
tyres, which are very impressive both in the dry and wet, as we saw in China."