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Kawasaki restricted by Hopkins´ San Marino absence

Kawasaki restricted by Hopkins´ San Marino absence

Anthony West was the sole Kawasaki rider on the timesheet after Friday´s free practice sessions at Misano.

Following complications with the rib injury he sustained in a practice crash at Brno two weeks ago, John Hopkins was forced to sit out the opening track sessions of the Gran Premio Cinzano di San Marino e della Riviera di Rimini on Friday.

Having returned from a nasty leg injury in the Czech Republic, Hopkins was absent again on Friday having also missed the two days of post-Brno testing.

Despite the injury healing well over the last week, the Anglo-American accidentally aggravated it on Thursday evening, with the accompanying pain resulting in a restless night for the Kawasaki rider. It was decided that on safety grounds Hopkins would not board his bike on Friday, as the distraction of the injury might hinder his ability to focus 100%.

It was a highly disappointing day for Kawasaki on-track at Misano, with Anthony West at the back of the pack again - following his career-best MotoGP result last time out in the premier class Czech contest.

John Hopkins - eighth

`To be sidelined by something so simple is really disappointing, but while the injury isn´t serious it is really painful, especially when you´re on the bike. I thought I was back to full fitness after resting up since Brno, but then I managed to tweak the same Intercostal muscle during a light training session on Thursday evening, and the pain kept me awake most of the night. The injury has responded well to treatment, and is now much improved, but the lack of sleep meant that it was difficult to concentrate fully ahead of this afternoon´s practice session. Rather than risk further injury by riding at less than 100%, together with the team, I made the decision to sit out this afternoon´s practice. Tomorrow I´ll be good to go, and I hope that the lack of track time today won´t stop us picking up where we left off at the last round.´

Anthony West - seventeenth

`We came here in good spirits following the last race, but it´s been quite a frustrating day for us. We worked closely with Bridgestone throughout both sessions to find improved confidence in the front-end of my machine, yet we´ve ended the day in only seventeenth place. The bike feels very nervous, particularly in the bumpy sections of the circuit, which means I just can´t get hard on the brakes and into the turns. Our set-up from Brno just isn´t working here so we need to revise our direction to suit this circuit, and hopefully, as we did last time out, we can make a big improvement tomorrow.´

MotoGP, 2008, GP CINZANO DI SAN MARINO E DELLA RIVIERA DI RIMINI, Anthony West, John Hopkins, Kawasaki Racing Team

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