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Kawasaki boys target Malaysian top ten

Kawasaki boys target Malaysian top ten

Qualifying at the Polini Malaysian Motorcycle Grand Prix saw John Hopkins qualify tenth, with his teammate Anthony West behind him in thirteenth.

The Kawasaki lowdown on Saturday´s Sepang qualifying run.

John Hopkins - tenth

`The rain was so heavy ahead of qualifying that I thought Ant was going to end up on pole thanks to his fast lap this morning! Qualifying was fully wet to start with, but grip was hard to find even with the softest wet tyres on the bike. We were sliding around everywhere, which was good fun but not very productive. I switched to slicks quite early, but it was quite tricky dodging the damp patches and the grip was pretty unpredictable. My first qualifier induced some chatter in the bike, but my second qualifying run was a lot better. Unfortunately, because of the track conditions at the start, we ran out of time to stick another qualifier on the bike. I´m pretty confident I could have improved my grid position if we´d had the chance to use the last soft tyre, but that´s the way it is sometimes and it was the same for everyone. The improvements we made this morning to our dry set-up mean we´re pretty much on the pace, so a top ten finish is definitely on the cards for tomorrow.´

Anthony West - thirteenth

`We didn´t manage to make any big improvements to our set-up this morning, so launching the bike out of the turns was still a problem during qualifying this afternoon. At the start of the session, with the track completely wet, everyone was having the same problem, but as the track started to dry out it was just me who was sideways out of the corners. In the end I could only do what I did in Australia and just open the throttle and hang on. I was pretty close to John at the finish, so it seems it is not such a bad approach. If I´d had time to run my second qualifier then I might have been able to close the gap to him even further, but the conditions at the start put paid to that. It´s nice to be off the back row of the grid and I think a top ten finish tomorrow is a distinct possibility. That, and beating my teammate of course, is what I´ll be aiming for anyway.´

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, POLINI MALAYSIAN MOTORCYCLE GRAND PRIX, John Hopkins, Anthony West, Kawasaki Racing Team

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