After replacement rider Olivier Jacque produced Kawasaki's best MotoGP result ever in China, established rider Max Biaggi has been spurred on to break Valentino Rossi's dominance at the technical Le Mans circuit this Sunday.

After replacement rider Olivier Jacque produced Kawasaki's best MotoGP result ever in China, established rider Max Biaggi has been spurred on to break Valentino Rossi's dominance at the technical Le Mans circuit this Sunday.

The 31-year old drove masterfully through the rain on full specification wet tyres to record a second-place finish in Shanghai, after starting 15th on the grid. The Frenchman, who was called to replace the injured Alex Hofmann days before the race, finished less than two seconds behind race winner Valentino Rossi.

However, despite his fairytale comeback, Jacque is aware of the huge task he faces this weekend.

"It is a long time since I have raced at Le Mans and there are always high expectations for the French riders. I'm sure the atmosphere will be incredible," said Jacque, who last raced at Le Mans two-years ago and finished fourth.

"After my 'magic' race in Shanghai I'm not sure what to expect at Le Mans, it is difficult for me to predict the performance of the Ninja ZX-RR at this track because I still don't have a lot of experience on the bike," said Jacque.

"I'm not feeling stressed or under pressure. In fact, I'm appreciating the support from the fans and I'm really comfortable to be racing in my home grand prix. It will be a big party, but I'm aiming to be very competitive, The support of the Kawasaki team is giving me a lot of confidence, as are the Bridgestone tyres, which are very impressive both in the dry and wet, as we saw in China," Jacque concluded.

After the Chinese race Rossi ominously 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..."

Another racer that Rossi would need to track during this Sunday's French Grand Prix is veteran rider Max Biaggi. The factory Honda rider desperately needs to secure a race victory this season, and he is assured that this weekend would provide the ideal conditions for a win.

Biaggi and Honda have been plagued with set-up problems since the start of the season, though wet weather at the most recent Chinese and Portuguese encounters have worked to the Italian's advantage.

"In the rain the rider counts much more and I could partially close the gap between me and the fastest riders. But with these cornering problems I was forced to push it to the limit, and even beyond, along the straights," said Biaggi after finishing fifth at Shanghai.

However, Le Mans slow corners linked by straights could allow Biaggi to exploit the Honda's straight-line speed while avoiding most of the current cornering issues.

Also, Biaggi has often enjoyed strong finishes at Le Mans and has secured three podium spots from his last four outings at the historic French circuit.

"Here I won in the 500 class, in 2001, and I wrote several fastest lap records. The track is narrow, technical and it doesn't allow big differences among the riders: here it's always an exciting challenge.

"I go to Le Mans hoping to finally have a good race. The season hasn't started the way I wanted, but I hope that after the French GP, my team and I will be able to express our potential and be ahead again," concluded Biaggi, who is currently fourth on the leader board.

Original article from Car