MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2004
CINZANO BRITISH GRAND PRIX - DONINGTON PARK
25TH JULY 2004 - MOTOGP RACE RESULT

NAKANO IN THE POINTS AT DONINGTON

Shinya Nakano salvaged a single World Championship point for the Fuchs Kawasaki Racing Team when he finished fifteenth in the British Grand Prix at a heavily overcast, but mainly dry Donington Park today.

With team-mate Alex Hofmann in nineteenth place, the British GP ended in frustration for both riders, who just a week ago produced a double top ten result in the German Grand Prix.

Finding a competitive chassis, engine and tyre set-up for the Ninja ZX-RR to match the unique demands of the Donington track proved elusive over three days of practice and racing.

Consequently, the 30-lap race proved to be a test of the resourcefulness of Nakano and Hofmann, who both refused to give up as they battled reduced grip levels over the final laps.

Hofmann made a superb start from the seventh row and passed six riders to be fifteenth at the end of the first lap, ahead of his Fuchs Kawasaki team-mate, Nakano. He conceded one position on lap five with a braking error into the chicane, but worse was to come four laps later.

Chasing a charging pack of riders into turn one, Hofmann was surprised by the brief rain shower at Redgate Corner and made a brilliant recovery after running off through the gravel trap.

Having dropped to last place Hofmann made finishing the race his priority.

Meanwhile Nakano was not able to find his usual level of confidence and grip levels to push from twelfth on the grid and, after dropping to sixteenth, the determined Japanese rider made sure of a points finish over the final laps.

The race was watched by an enthusiastic turn out of 82,000 spectators and, apart for the brief rain shower on lap nine, the threatening rain held off.
Shinya Nakano: 15th

"This was a very difficult race for me, and I couldn't ride to my full potential; really it was like that from first practice on Friday. The team made a lot of set-up adjustments, but we never found the ideal compromise for Donington. From the first lap I couldn't get good grip, and I was not able to push. I didn't have my normal level of confidence, but I guess one point is better than zero. It's disappointing, but now we have three weeks before the next race to try for a better result."
Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"Just one week after our best result of the season this is obviously not a good result for us. Clearly we have a lot of work to do, both with the bike and tyres, to find a competitive package over the race distance for the special demands of Donington. Three low gear corners do not suit the current power characteristics of our engine, but we are continuing a development programme to improve that, and all areas of the Ninja ZX-RR. The riders did the best they could; we just never found the right balance."