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Top ten return for Hopkins following Kawasaki improvements

Top ten return for Hopkins following Kawasaki improvements

John Hopkins showed on Friday in the Czech Republic that an enforced seven week lay-off through injury has not blunted his skills.

As he made his return from injury aboard an evolved version of Kawasaki´s Ninja ZX-RR, John Hopkins ended Friday´s opening practice sessions at Brno in eighth position overall.

Despite a fall in each of the one-hour sessions, Hopkins felt confident that the revised specification engine and chassis components added to his 800cc prototype for this weekend have made a vast improvement.

His team-mate Anthony West was disappointed not to have made more of an impression as he suffered with turning and stability issues during both sessions.

John Hopkins - eighth

It is a shame we had two minor falls today. I just lost the front while finding the limit, but it was nothing major. The new engine parts have made a huge difference as the bike has more horsepower and improved power management. The chassis upgrade has helped us to turn better, especially into the corners, but we need to work on getting a little more feedback from the front-end. My knee is quite sore, especially when I have to put a lot of weight on it to change direction, but it´s holding out well.´

Anthony West - seventeenth

`This is not exactly how I´d hoped to make a return following our recent summer break. The bike has plenty of grip, which is where we´ve suffered in the past, but I just can´t get it to turn. Unfortunately this lack of stability means there is very little feedback from the machine when cornering and I don´t have much confidence, which is reflected in our lap time. We´ve identified the areas where the problems are more significant and hopefully overnight we can find a solution to this.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, CARDION AB GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY, John Hopkins, Anthony West, Kawasaki Racing Team

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