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Third round brings mixed fortunes for Kawasaki

Third round brings mixed fortunes for Kawasaki

The contrasting results for Kawasaki´s two riders in Portugal were clear for all to see and while John Hopkins was delighted with his own top five placing the Anglo-American rider and the team´s Competition Manager Michael Bartholemy are looking to do all they can to help last place finisher Anthony West.

The contrasting results for Kawasaki´s two riders at the bwin.com Grande Premio de Portugal were clear for all to see and while John Hopkins was delighted with his own top five placing the Anglo-American rider and the team´s Competition Manager Michael Bartholemy are looking to do all they can to help last place finisher Anthony West.

Now almost fully recovered from his painful preseason groin injury Hopkins got his best result of the year so far at Estoril thanks to some hard work and some crashes in front of him, whilst West crossed the line last in 16th place and sits joint bottom of the general standings with just three points - won by finishing 13th at Jerez in round two.

Focussing first on Hopkins´ success, Bartholemy commented, `I´m pretty happy overall with the weekend. Estoril was not our favourite track in recent years, so to finish fifth here shows that the bike has potential, the rider has potential and we have done a good job. I said I would be happy if we could finish sixth, so I´m pleased with this result.´

`There are four or five tracks coming now where we know that the bike is good. John Hopkins is one of the best riders in the world, so we want to get podiums as soon as possible. That is why we are here.´

In contrast, the Kawasaki boss said of West, `We have to sit down together and talk and try to find the solutions for him. I think he maybe puts a bit more pressure on himself to get results now. He did well last year and I think he is still the same rider, but we just need to help him and give him confidence.´

Hopkins had a similar message of support for his struggling team-mate, saying, `I talk to him quite a bit and every chance I get I´m going to try and help him out as much as possible. We have different riding styles but as much as I can I will try to help him improve his situation and as much as he can he will try to help me improve the machine.´

`We´ve just got to keep working together and he will find his ground. I´m sure he´ll be making up the positions in the near future.´

For his part, West commented on his current woes, `Being last sucks and I´m not very happy with where I am at the moment, so I´ll have to do something about it. Hopefully I can get back to the pace I was running at last year.´

`Last year I was quicker here than I was this year so that´s really disappointing. We have to look at the bike so that when we go to China we are confident about what works. So we´ll see what happens when we get there. I don´t think it really matters where we ride at the moment with the problems that I´m having. It´s pretty bad being last so we´ve got to work on the bike a lot.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Anthony West, Kawasaki Racing Team

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