Olivier Jacque delivered Kawasakifs best-ever result in the premier class of motorcycle grand prix racing, with a masterful second place in a water-logged Chinese Grand Prix today.

The podium position was also a personal best for the 31-year-old Frenchman in the premier class. Previously he was fourth in the 2003 French GP at Le Mans.

In surging from 15th on the grid to second at the finish of the rain-hit race, Jacque and Kawasaki also delivered the best-ever result for Bridgestone in a MotoGP race using full wet specification tyres.

It was a spectacular debut ride for Kawasaki by Jacque, who was a late replacement for the injured Alex Hofmann.

The Frenchman, starting 15th, finished the 22-lap race with a dramatic surge for victory, finishing just 1.7s adrift of race winner, and four-time world champion, Valentino Rossi.

Jacque closed almost four seconds over the final five laps with a near perfect display of bike and throttle control, which emphasised the step forward made with the latest motor powering the Ninja ZX-RR.

The Kawasaki pilot was ninth on lap two and, when he splashed past Spaniard Sete Gibernau to secure second place on lap 15, the Frenchman was still 6.1s behind Rossi.

In his chase of Rossi, Jacque overcame a fogging visor and windscreen which made it almost impossible to read his pit board and race position.

After the race Rossi said: "I read that Olivier was coming to MotoGP for two races and that China was just for training, so now we must watch out for him at Le Mans."

Jacquefs teammate Shinya Nakano failed to finish, retiring his Ninja ZX-RR with an electrical problem at the end of lap two. Nakano was hugely disappointed with this outcome, which resulted in him dropping to eighth place in the world championship.

Shinya Nakano: #56 - DNF

"On lap one I had a strange feeling from the motor, and then on lap two it felt like I lost power from one cylinder with a misfire. Ifm very disappointed, I donft like losing championship points like this, although there are still a lot of races to go."
Ichiro Yoda: Technical Director

"Incredible, I canft believe this result and I donft understand why a rider like Olivier is not in MotoGP full time. I hope the sport will see more of him. I worked with him at Yamaha for the 250 world championship so this result today with Kawasaki is very special for both of us."
Harald Eckl: Team Manager

"A fantastic result, and full credit to Olivier in very difficult conditions. Two weeks ago at Estoril we saw that he still had what it takes to race at this level, and today's result just goes to prove that the decision to put him on our bike for this race, and for the next at Le Mans, was the right one. The result also proves that Kawasaki's engineers have built an engine that is suited to these conditions. Finally, I must say a big thank to our tyre partner Bridgestone, they have done a lot of work on their wet weather tyres."