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Hopkins and West looking for improvements

Hopkins and West looking for improvements

With results in China well below expectations Kawasaki will be looking for a marked upturn in form next time out.

The trip to the Far East for round four ultimately ended in further headaches for Michael Bartholemy, Kawasaki´s Competition Manager, as Anthony West struggled for competitiveness once more and John Hopkins finished outside the top ten in his 100th GP.

Hoping for a step forward in terms of consistency in 2008 with the recruitment of Hopkins, things have not gone according to plan due to the Anglo-American´s winter testing injury, with just one top five result so far in Estoril followed up by a 14th placed finish in China, where tyre choice was so critical.

West, meanwhile, still has just three points to his name after four races, unable to add to his tally at Shanghai as he crossed the line last for the second round in succession.

Summarising a tough Grand Prix all round, Bartholemy said, `We had been looking forward to this weekend for a long time because we were saying `ok we need a month or a month and a half with John´s development´, and normally we have performed quite well here. John has also done well here for the last two years, fourth and third so our expectations were quite high.´

`On Friday things were looking quite good,´ continued Bartholemy. `In both sessions John was fifth and in the morning Anthony was tenth so we were quite positive. So we are disappointed with the result as it was possible for us to have finished sixth or seventh. The starting position was quite far from the front and we didn´t have enough traction during the race so of course we are disappointed at this stage.´

In attempting to stay optimistic about the outlook for his squadron, the `Team Green´ chief concluded, `I think the positive thing from Kawasaki is that we are a team and a manufacturer that is strong and always motivated to go to the next track. Soon we will have clear heads and we will concentrate fully for the next race in France.´

MotoGP, 2008, Kawasaki Racing Team

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