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Development not a distraction as Kawasaki head home

Development not a distraction as Kawasaki head home

John Hopkins and Anthony West will be firmly focused on the current campaign as they head to Kawasaki´s home race.

One of four Japanese factories running MotoGP bikes at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan, Kawasaki have already begun focusing their work on their 2009. With `Team Green´ riders John Hopkins and Anthony West languishing in the lower reaches of the standings, level on 41 points, the trip home provides an opportunity to show their skills in an important environment, and thoughts of next season will be temporarily set aside.

Hopkins headed early to Japan after the Red Bull Indianapolis Grand Prix, although he says that, even with added acclimatisation, he still expects a difficult time at the Twin Ring.

`Motegi has never been a circuit that´s been kind to me, as I´ve always had a lot of bad luck there,´ admits the Anglo-American. ` Even last year, which was my best season so far, Motegi was definitely my worst round. However, maybe this is the year we can turn it around after all of the bad luck we´ve had with injury.´

It´s a track I actually enjoy, the fans and atmosphere are all a lot of fun, and the circuit layout is good too. We are mainly concentrating on the development of the machine for next year, although it would be great to finish the final few rounds of 2008 with strong results.´

Outgoing second rider West is more optimistic about his chances of a good result in Japan, having impressed last season and even led the race before being brought in for a jumpstart penalty. The Australian is assessing his options for 2009 after having been informed that he will not feature in the factory setup, and plenty of Japanese executives will be in attendance this weekend.

`Motegi is a track that I know well, because I´ve done a lot of laps around there in the past. It´s a very grippy circuit with an interesting layout,´ says West, a veteran of 1000cc racing in the Land of the Rising Sun.

`Last year we performed well there, particularly in qualifying, but a small mistake in the race meant we didn´t quite achieve the result we were capable of. I know it´s not going to be an easy ride for us this weekend, but it´s Kawasaki's second home event, so I hope we can gain a strong result.´

MotoGP, 2008, A-STYLE GRAND PRIX OF JAPAN, John Hopkins, Anthony West, Kawasaki Racing Team

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