Nakano Leaves MotoGP with 7th Place at Valencia
“I'm happy with seventh place today because it was important for me to get to the finish line, which is why I pushed hard but without taking too many risks. Considering that I started the race from fifteenth I had to be very focused to make up positions at the start, taking another couple of riders over the opening laps before catching Edwards, although it was difficult to get past him,” admitted Nakano after the race.
The 31-year old Japanese will leave the MotoGP class for a place inside the World Superbike Championship, signing a deal with newcomers Aprilia in the second most powerful FIM championship. Curiously enough, Nakano leaves the championship after scoring his second best overall position in career inside the MotoGP class - 9th overall in the riders' rankings.
“I'm satisfied with this season because over the final few races in particular we've had some good races and despite a couple of ups and downs I'm happy with how it's all gone. I want to thank Team Gresini and my fans for their support and I will go away with great memories of the people I have had the pleasure to work with this season,” said the now former-Gresini rider.
“This is the end of what hasn't been an easy season for us but I'm happy with the results today. I want to say a huge 'thank you' to Shinya, who has worked with true dedication with us, and we wish him all the best for his future career,” said team owner Fausto Gresini before bye-ing the MotoGP veteran. The Japanese will leave the championship after 8 fruitful years and will be replaced at Honda Gresini by Spain's Toni Elias. Previously under Fausto Gresini's command in the past, the Spaniard will join San Marino's Alex de Angelis in the 2009 riders' lineup.