Word has finally come from Kawaski that Fonsi Nieto will substitute for the injured Olivier Jacque at Le Mans. The Spaniard, currently riding for Kawasaki in World Superbikes, had a verbal agreement with Kawasaki that he would get first shot at replacing an injured rider in MotoGP. Though Nieto has no experience of the MotoGP bikes, he spent a long time racing in the 250cc Championship, winning 5 races in the series.
The decision leaves Neil Hodgson out in the cold. His name had been linked with OJ's ride, but prior commitments, and Nieto's existing contract with Kawasaki, made Nieto the logical choice.