Jacque ready for GPs
Olivier Jacque claims he wasn’t bothered about being well down Kawasaki’s shopping list as the French rider clinched a shock return to MotoGP. The former world 250 champion was plucked out of the wilderness by Kawasaki to spearhead its new 800cc project in 2007, after the Japanese factory was left reeling when number one rider Shinya Nakano quit to join the Konica Minolta Honda squad. Quality bikes for sale: Click here.
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Jacque, who has been Kawasaki’s test and development rider for the last two years, said: “I don’t care about not being top of the list. I am hungry and I am ready to comeback. I don’t want to waste this chance. The only reason I said yes to this was because I know I can come back and be competitive, “said Jacque, who finished second at a rain-soaked 2005 China GP at Shanghai replacing the injured Alex Hofmann. The 33-year-old hasn’t raced in MotoGP full-time since the Tech 3 Yamaha squad axed him at the end of 2003, yet he was signed by Kawasaki as bosses ran out of options. Having failed to convince Nakano to stay and then missing out on landing Carlos Checa, Sete Gibernau and Hiroshi Aoyama, Jacque was the only candidate left. He said: “Last year I wanted to comeback but it wasn’t possible. The most difficult thing was to race as a wild card. There is a lot of pressure to perform just for one race. It is a long time since I will have had the stress of being a full-time rider, but it is a good stress to have. And this will be the first time in my career that I have raced for a factory team. I hope to bring some of my knowledge and experience to help develop the new 800 to be at a competitive level for the first race. I can still do a job at this level.”