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Hofmann keen to demonstrate his potential

Hofmann keen to demonstrate his potential

Hofmann keen to demonstrate his potential

The Kawasaki Racing Team made a major step last year with a new chassis which allowed Shinya Nakano to clinch the first podium for the manufacturer in MotoGP. This season, the Japanese factory is focussing on a new ‘big bang' version of the ZX-RR 990cc inline four cylinder to power a refined version of the chassis.

The new engine, introduced in February at Sepang, could be a major step forward for the team. However, German rider Alex Hofmann has clocked very little mileage with the unit so far and admits his preparation for the upcoming season hasn't been ideal.

"My situation right now isn't so easy. Many people at Kawasaki are tied up developing a new engine. We didn't have enough parts to take both riders to the tests, so Shinya (Nakano) is responsible for the development at the moment and I missed out two tests with the new engine," explains Hofmann.

"These three days here in Barcelona and then in Jerez will be my last chance to get used to the new stuff. It's quite limited and for sure not the best preparation, but we have to accept the decision of Kawasaki. Anyway, it doesn't mean I won't be able to give it all and try to do my best, but overall, it has been a hard winter, with not so much to do."

The German won't have much input on the first versions of the engine and has to rely on the work carried out by his Japanese teammate.
"They had clearly to decide on one way to go and Shinya being the more experienced, he had the chance to work on the engine. I just made a few laps and it wasn't enough to give any directions. It's all up to Shinya and I just hope he's doing the best job he can, because in the end, that's the engine I'll receive the next time in Jerez and then for the race, so I have to trust them, because there's no option!" For his second full season with Kawasaki, Hofmann knows he will have to raise his game to become an established rider in the premier class of motorcycling.
"It's going to be the most important season for me. My contract runs out at the end of the year; I think I showed some potential in 2004 but with the competition we have this year, it's not going to be easy to let everybody know you deserve something better – which is my plan for this season. My focus won't be to win the World Championship, we know we are not competitive enough now for that kind of goal. For me it will be important to show my potential on as many occasions as possible."

MotoGP, 2005

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