Jacque states desire to race in Le Mans

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Injured French rider Olivier Jacque is ready to declare himself fit to ride in his home GP at Le Mans this weekend, even though doctors believe he should withdraw.

Jacque’s doctors are understood to have advised the former world 250 champion against riding in France this weekend after he suffered a right arm injury in the previous round in Shanghai.

Jacque has been undergoing an intensive rehabilitation programme to get fit to ride his factory Kawasaki ZX-RR, and is determined to join compatriot Randy de Puniet in Le Mans.

A final decision on Jacque’s participation is expected tomorrow (Tuesday), with Fonsi Nieto favourite to be announced as his replacement, should Jacque be unable to compete.

British rider Neil Hodgson was also in contention for Jacque’s ride, but Spaniard Nieto has a verbal agreement with Kawasaki bosses that stipulates he is first choice should Jacque or de Puniet get injured.

Nieto stated at last weekend’s Monza World Superbike clash that he is ready to accept the ride.

Kawasaki spokesman, Ian Wheeler, said: “Olivier is determined to ride but we hope to make a decision early tomorrow. If he is unable to ride then it is 99 per cent certain that Fonsi will take his place.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt