Kawasaki MotoGP test rider Olivier Jacque had an eventful final day of 2008 testing at Phillip island on Friday, when he was fortunate to escape injury in a 'scary fall'.
The former 250cc world champion suffered a big highside on a cold rear tyre at the right-hand Hayshed turn.
"I had a big crash late on in the day after the rear came round on me through the right-hander at Hayshed," recalled OJ. "It takes some time to warm up the right-hand side of the tyre here, and although I'd been really careful up to this point, I must have just given it a bit too much gas on cold tarmac and down I went. It was a big impact, but apart from a few bruises, I walked away uninjured. It was scary though!"
Jacque, fastest of the three Kawasaki riders on day one, left the test having set a best lap time of 1min 32.1sec over the three days, during which he evaluated a new chassis and engine.
The best ZX-RR lap was a 1min 31.8sec by new signing Marco Melandri, while Suzuki's Loris Capirossi was fastest of the five riders present courtesy of a 1min 30.9sec.
"These three days at Phillip Island have been positive, because we now know how much work we need to do to improve the bike before we return here to continue testing in the New Year," said Jacque, revealing that Kawasaki hopes to be on track before the first official 2009 test at Sepang from February 5-7.
"We tried a slightly different engine today, which had some positive points, but we're still struggling a little bit with the front-end feeling. Marco did make some progress with this issue after trying a different set-up on his bike, and I'll test the same set-up when we return to Phillip Island in January.
"We leave here knowing what we have to do to close the gap on the leading riders and teams, and I hope when we return early next year we'll see a significant improvement in both bike and lap times," he concluded.