Released from what many thought was a dream ride with Luis d'Antin's Yamaha squad at the end of 2001, Jose Luis Cardoso has bounced back by signing a deal to ride the new MuZ four-stroke in the 2002 MotoGP world championship.

The Spanish rider will act largely as a development rider for the returning operation, and has already admitted that he faces a tough, and frustrating, season, which may mean missing several early races while the bike is race prepared. Nevertheless, he insists that the deal has plenty of pluses for him as well.

"The idea of working with a four-stroke machine is very appealing to me," Cardoso told, "The chance to help develop a completely new motorcycle within a team which has Formula One engine experience, and is therefore sure to be top quality, is extremely exciting for my career. I hope to get to work as soon as possible.

"Hopefully, I will have the tools I need to be successful. 2002 will be a very difficult season and it is a year of important changes, but I feel very privileged to be riding a four-stroke machine and I hope to do well. At the moment, I'm not sure of the detailed plans for pre-season. I know that there is a lot of work to do and that we probably won't be ready to compete until the fourth or fifth grand prix of the season."

Cardoso will travel to MuZ's German base in the next few days to begin work with the team. MuZ sporting director Jurgen Zurn has hinted at a second entry, possibly for a German rider, but no further details have been released.



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