MOTOGP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP 2004
GAULOISES CZECH REPUBLIC GRAND PRIX - AUTODROM BRNO
22ND AUGUST 2004 - MOTOGP RACE RESULT

NAKANO AND HOFMANN IN THE POINTS AT BRNO

SFuchs Kawasaki riders, Shinya Nakano and Alex Hofmann, showed true grit and determination as they fought their way through the field from the back of the grid, to add to their points tally in today's gruelling Czech Republic Grand Prix at Brno.

Nakano finished in 12th place, just one tenth of second ahead of Hofmann, as the Ninja ZX-RR team-mates engaged in a furious dice over the final seven laps of the 22-lap race.

Nakano had stormed to 17th at the end of lap one, but he struggled with a less than ideal rear tyre choice and, by lap ten, Hofmann had charged to 16th to lead the group of Jeremy McWilliams, Nakano and Ruben Xaus.

By lap 18 Nakano had taken over as the pace maker in this tight battle and, over the final stages, the Japanese ace was shadowed by Hofmann all the way to the chequered flag.

Despite the points finish, both Nakano and Hofmann were less than satisfied, knowing that without the frustrating problems suffered with grip levels and engine power delivery in wet qualifying, better results were possible in today's race.

With Nakano starting from 25th on the grid, and Hofmann one place further back, both riders rode superbly to overcome a charging pack of MotoGP rivals and finish in the World Championship points.

The Kawasaki team is staying on at Brno for an important two-day test session, which will enable evaluation of new components and allow back-to-back comparisons with today's race performances.

Revised chassis, suspension and engine components - including a modified exhaust system - are on the test agenda for the continuing Ninja ZX-RR development program.
Shinya Nakano: 12th

"I made a good start, but in the early part of the race I couldn't push hard; I didn't feel comfortable with the set-up and I think we probably made a wrong rear tyre choice. The problem was lack of dry practice time, and I also suffered with front end chatter. Over the last five laps I pushed to stay in front of Alex, but even though I finished in the points after starting at the back of the field, I don't enjoy racing so far from the front. The test here over the next two days is now very important to me and to Kawasaki."
Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"It is satisfying to score points after starting from the back of the grid, but it was hard work for both Shinya and Alex. At the moment we don't have enough top end power, and that makes it difficult to pass on the straights, with the result that both riders lose time in the early stages of the race. If we had started closer to the front I'm sure we could have challenged the group for a top ten place. It was a tough weekend, but the test over the next two days, with new chassis, suspension and engine components, will hopefully provide some solutions for the coming races."