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Kawasaki pair outside top ten in Australian contest

Kawasaki pair outside top ten in Australian contest

Home rider Anthony West was twelfth and his Kawasaki team-mate John Hopkins just behind him in thirteenth at the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix on Sunday.

The Kawasaki reactions to a difficult weekend at Phillip Island, which concluded with Anthony West and John Hopkins outside the top ten in the MotoGP race.

Anthony West - twelfth

`I arrived at Phillip Island determined to put in a good performance in front of my home crowd this weekend, but the traction problems we had throughout practice and qualifying put paid to that. On the opening lap I could see Marco Melandri ahead of me, so I thought I´d give him a good look at the bike he´ll be riding next year - from the rear, obviously. The traction problems meant I was sideways on the gas right from the start, but by just holding it wide open, letting the rear spin up and using my bodyweight to steer the bike, I was actually able to drive it out of the corners pretty good. After Marco the next target was John. I could see he was struggling for drive out of the turns even more than me, so it was just a case of closing the gap and choosing my moment. Fair play to John though; he kept me honest by pushing me all the way to the end. I thought he might try something on the last lap, but I´m glad he didn't because I wasn't going to let him get away with that! It wasn´t the result I was hoping for this weekend, but I´m happy I did the best I could with what we had to work with.´

John Hopkins - thirteenth

`At the start of the race I was just dodging and weaving my way around all of the crashes, but we managed to make up quite a few places by going around the outside of some of the other riders in the opening laps. I settled into a rhythm and tried to keep in touch with the group ahead, but a few laps in I lost the front at Honda corner and ran wide, which cost me a few positions. It was then basically a race with Anthony (West), and we did the best we could with what we had. He just had a little more drive out of the turns and was able to stay ahead, but we were both particularly struggling on the final turn of the circuit. I could see that Chris Vermeulen was catching us towards the end of the race, so we just pushed as hard as we could to maintain our positions. I´m looking forward to the next round because we had a positive pre-season test at the Sepang circuit, and hopefully we can gain a better result there.´

MotoGP, 2008, AUSTRALIAN GRAND PRIX, Anthony West, John Hopkins, Kawasaki Racing Team

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