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Third row start for Hopkins at round five

Third row start for Hopkins at round five

Kawasaki´s John Hopkins will start tomorrow´s Alice Grand Prix de France from the third row of the grid.

John Hopkins qualified his Ninja ZX-RR in ninth place on the grid during this afternoon´s hour long session at Le Mans, while his Kawasaki colleague Anthony West is down in last place.

John Hopkins – 9th

`This morning we made considerable progress on a race tyre, and we improved our lap time by three tenths of a second on each run. We didn´t know what the weather was going to do this afternoon, so we finalised our dry race tyre in the first session. In qualifying we worked on finding a better front-end feeling on the Ninja ZX-RR to give me more confidence going into the corners. The first run we had on a qualifying tyre wasn´t so great as I had a bit of a slide, but we found a combination that worked reasonably well and I was able to push quite hard to gain a third row grid position on our final run. Tomorrow we have to get away from the line quickly; the bike is ready to race and I´m looking forward to it whatever the weather.´

Anthony West – 18th

`I´m incredibly frustrated that we were unable to continue making progress today. We went out on a race tyre in practice and I felt comfortable with the direction we were going. However, we just couldn´t make a significant improvement on a qualifying tyre, which has put us on the back of the grid. For me this is not good enough, especially as John seems to be able to make the bike work for him. I have to look at maybe changing my riding style to improve our times, try to find the root cause of our problems, and turn my season around. We will not make any changes to the bike overnight, and tomorrow I´ll be going out to race as hard as possible.´

MotoGP, 2008, ALICE GRAND PRIX DE FRANCE, Anthony West, John Hopkins, Kawasaki Racing Team

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