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Hopkins battles hard for tenth at round fifteen

Hopkins battles hard for tenth at round fifteen

Kawasaki´s John Hopkins fought hard to cross the line in tenth position on his Ninja ZX-RR at the A-Style Grand Prix of Japan on Sunday afternoon at Motegi.

John Hopkins got some much needed points on the board on Sunday afternoon at Motegi, battling with the likes of future team-mate Marco Melandri and Tech3 Yamaha rider James Toseland before crossing the line tenth in Japan.

Anthony West was out of luck again as another hard weekend for the Australian ended with him coming home fifteenth.

John Hopkins - tenth

`The start is always a bit hectic here because the first few turns are quite tight, so we just got our head down and settled into a rhythm. We caught up with James Toseland and I tried everything to get around him, but he just had a little bit more acceleration out of the turns than us. It was quite frustrating because on the brakes and mid-corner we were much quicker, so we passed each other on many occasions. We were side by side for a lot of the time so it was a big battle and it came down to the final lap where I made a pass that stuck at turn two. We managed to achieve tenth, but really I felt we were capable of a top five finish because we were lapping at the same pace as riders much further up the field. We´ve learnt a lot from this weekend, and we´ve made a lot of set-up changes, so it´s definitely been positive. I´ve also regained a lot of confidence and we can now use the last three rounds to start preparing the bike for 2009.´

Anthony West - sixteenth

`At the moment it seems that, if it wasn´t for bad luck we wouldn´t have any luck at all. Early on in the race my front brake lever was coming all the way back to the bar, and the bike just wasn´t stopping. Almost every lap I had to use the brake span adjuster to move the lever further out, but two corners later it would be back to the bar again. We don´t know yet what the problem was, but eventually I just ran out of brakes at the end of the straight and ended up taking a trip through the gravel trap. So, a bit frustrating, but I don´t want to dwell on this weekend. Now I need to look forward to my home race at Phillip Island, where I really want to put on a good show for all the Australian MotoGP fans.´

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

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