British GP: Kawasaki qualifying report

THIRD ROW FOR WET WEATHER WEST Kawasaki's Anthony West will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from the third row of the grid, after qualifying his Ninja ZX-RR in seventh position during this afternoon's rain soaked timed session at ...

THIRD ROW FOR WET WEATHER WEST

Kawasaki's Anthony West will start tomorrow's British Grand Prix from the third row of the grid, after qualifying his Ninja ZX-RR in seventh position during this afternoon's rain soaked timed session at Donington Park.

The slippery conditions at the 4.023km track caught out many leading riders during the two, hour-long sessions today, although following the developments made in yesterday's dry practice, West managed to find a good set-up aboard his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR.

The 26-year-old looked set for a front row start after lapping quickly and consistently around the notoriously unforgiving circuit in qualifying, but the Australian rider lost out as his main rivals took advantage of Bridgestone's softer compound wet tyre, an option that wasn't possible for West to use due to limited availability.

West eventually finished in seventh position as the highest placed qualifier on Bridgestone's harder compound rear rubber. The Kawasaki pilot feels confident that he has a good race pace in both the wet or dry, and he is looking forward to fighting for positions at the front of the field during tomorrow's 30-lap race.

John Hopkins, who is still suffering from the back injury sustained in Catalunya, cautiously lapped the Leicestershire circuit in qualifying after a minor crash at turn seven during this morning's practice.

The Anglo-American concentrated on refining his machine set-up and was careful to avoid aggravating his already painful injury in the particularly greasy conditions. Hopkins will make some adjustments overnight to his Ninja ZX-RR, but the 25-year-old is reasonably happy with his machine set-up and will be looking for a strong result during the race.

The weather forecast is for showers during tomorrow's warm-up session at Donington Park, but with the rain scheduled to clear in time for the race, which gets underway at 15.00 local time.

Anthony West - #13 - 7th - 1'39.995

"It's great to be back in the top ten and fighting for decent positions. The bike is working well and we have a good pace in both the wet and dry. The track was very slippery and we were top three for a lot of the session, but we weren't allocated a soft tyre for my final run, which meant some of the other riders had an advantage. I'm feeling confident for tomorrow; we're not going to make many major changes to the machine, although there are some areas in the turns where we need to improve the rear traction of the bike. I am pleased with how things are going, as we're moving forwards, and I hope we can finally gain a strong result in the race."

John Hopkins - #21 - 11th - 1'40.539

"The conditions were really tough out there because the track was incredibly slippery. The bike and Bridgestone tyres were both working really well, but I had a crash this morning and to be honest, with the back injury I have, I've been riding quite tentatively this afternoon. I know we are capable of more, but I'm feeling pretty confident with our race setting whatever the weather tomorrow. We have some improvements to make overnight, but we just need to get a good start and then aim for the leading group."

Kaneko - Kawasaki Technical Manager

"Anthony did a good job today and he made the best of what he had. He was lapping consistently with no mistakes and he will start the race from a reasonably strong grid position. The conditions out on track weren't ideal, but I believe we have a good machine set-up in both the wet and dry. John is suffering somewhat with his injury and the crash this morning certainly didn't help things, but his race pace isn't so bad and we will analyse the areas that we need to improve overnight. For tomorrow we can only hope that it is either wet or dry for the race rather than mixed conditions, which can make setting up the machine more complicated."

-credit: krt

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers John Hopkins , Anthony West