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Kawasaki face uphill battle in Japanese contest

Kawasaki face uphill battle in Japanese contest

With John Hopkins eleventh on the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan grid and Anthony West on the sixth row the Kawasaki team appear to have a tough day ahead of them at Motegi on Sunday.

Having found the going difficult in free practice thus far at Motegi John Hopkins and Anthony West could not improve things significantly in qualifying, but the pair will nonetheless be going all-out to provide Kawasaki with a much-needed boost on Sunday.

John Hopkins - eleventh

`From yesterday to today we´ve definitely made a big improvement with the bike, particularly in the rear end grip and braking stability. The Bridgestone tyres are working well here, and we´re now using the same specification front tyre that the other competitors have been on for some time. We had to make a few set-up changes to suit this, but my confidence is growing, so we´re back on track and going in the right direction. I was hoping to be in the top ten, but I made a mistake on my last qualifying tyre and we didn´t get the best run, which prevented us from achieving a higher starting position. However, it´s a better result than we´ve had in the last few rounds and our race pace is strong, so we´re looking for a good start, and I hope we can get away to fight for a good finish, especially as it´s Kawasaki´s second home event.´

Anthony West - seventeenth

`I´m obviously disappointed to have qualified so far down the grid, but we´ve made some progress today. I have been really struggling on corner entry when the machine is under heavy braking, because it locks up and makes it feel very unstable to turn. It´s been particularly bad at this circuit, as it´s very tight and there are a lot of corners that require heavy braking and hard acceleration. We made some changes from this morning to this afternoon and this made a huge difference in the way the bike handled on a race tyre, giving me a lot more confidence and the ability to run consistently good times. We just didn´t have enough time to continue our progress, but it´s the first time I´ve felt really comfortable on the bike for a while and I hope this will transfer into a better result for us in tomorrow´s race.´

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

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