Olivier Jacque has bid goodbye to motorcycle racing and will no longer ride in MotoGP. The ex-250cc world champ got a shot at riding the Kawasaki ZX-RR for the 2007 MotoGP season primarily due to Shinya Nakano having left Kawasaki at the end of 2006. But the French rider has had a season littered with crashes and injuries, which has put a dampener on Kawasaki’s MotoGP effort.
Says Jacque, ‘I feel tired and physically diminished. I find it very hard to recover from my injuries and don't feel competitive enough to ride at top level. My body keeps telling me it's maybe time to move on. Kawasaki have been understanding and we have reached agreements for the future which will allow me to stay involved in the racing world, for which I am passionate.’
Jacque will continue with Kawasaki as development rider and technical advisor. In the meanwhile, Kawasaki have hired Australian rider Anthony West to replace Jacque for the remaining 2007 MotoGP season. West had earlier been riding for Yamaha in the 600cc World Supersport class. Says West, ‘To leave Yamaha is sad, but it's such a great chance for me to follow my dream to go to MotoGP.’
Olivier Jacque fans may remember his fantastic second place finish at the rain-soaked 2005 Chinese MotoGP in Shanghai. We think it was Jacque’s finest MotoGP ride ever, and you can right-click and download this 20MB video of that race here.
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