Jurgen van den Goorbergh was delighted to be top two stroke - and challenging for a podium finish - in Australia, after some difficult races in his 2002 campaign.

Using his high cornering speed and nimble NSR to outmanoeuvre the heavier four-strokes of Ukawa and Katoh, the Dutchman was nonetheless at a disadvantage under acceleration.

"I was the best two-stroke rider into the first corner and once I had got a good feel for the tyres I was confident. I knew we were in for a good race," grinned van den Goorbergh.

"When Kato joined Ukawa and me, I knew we were racing for third place," added the Dutchman. "Kato could pass me on the run down the main straight and that's just what happened. I was very happy with my race anyway and I was smiling away during the race under my crash helmet."

"We couldn't ask for more from the race. I'm really happy, for the whole team, Jurgen and particularly Bridgestone," smiled Team owner/manager Erv Kanemoto. "When we started this project in January last year with Nobuatsu Aoki and Shinichi Itoh doing all the testing we were aiming to get to where we are today, they deserve a lot of the credit for this result, they worked really hard."

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