DISAPPOINTMENT AT MUGELLO FOR KAWASAKI PAIR Anthony West was the sole Kawasaki finisher in today's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, bringing his Ninja ZX-RR home in a points scoring position after a technical problem caused his Kawasaki teammate,...
DISAPPOINTMENT AT MUGELLO FOR KAWASAKI PAIR
Anthony West was the sole Kawasaki finisher in today's Italian Grand Prix at Mugello, bringing his Ninja ZX-RR home in a points scoring position after a technical problem caused his Kawasaki teammate, John Hopkins, to crash out of the race after just seven laps.
Both Kawasaki riders lined up on the grid today knowing they were facing a tough task, after rain affected practice sessions on Friday and Saturday left them with limited dry track time in which to perfect the race set-up of their Ninja ZX-RR machines.
Hopkins crashed out of contention just seven laps into the race, after a fault with his quickshifter meant he was unable to backshift on the approach to the ultra-fast turn one, and he was left with no option but to run straight on.
West once again showed the determination for which he is rightly known and raced on to the end, to be rewarded with 15th position and another points scoring finish.
While today's result was frustrating for the Kawasaki Racing Team, both Hopkins and West are now more determined than ever to end the recent run of bad luck with a strong performance at next weekend's Grand Prix of Catalunya.
Anthony West - #13 - 15th Position
"I'm starting to sound like a stuck record now, because every time I get off the bike I'm explaining the same problem. It's fairly simple; the rear just spins up when you get on the gas out of the turns and the bike goes sideways when it's supposed to go forwards. This is a real, physical problem, not something that exists only in Anthony West's head. Now I'm looking to the team for a solution, because I came to MotoGP to race, and so far this season I've had little opportunity to do so. Whether the team can find a solution before the next race, which is only one week away, I don't know."
John Hopkins - #21 - DNF
"We saw in qualifying that we were some way off the pace in race trim, so we decided to take a chance with some fairly big changes ahead of morning warm-up today. It was a gamble that paid off, because the set-up of the bike was much improved in the race. But then, just seven laps into the race the bike developed a fault with the quickshifter and I couldn't backshift approaching turn one. With no way to scrub off speed the crash was inevitable. It was a big crash, and I count myself lucky that I managed to walk away uninjured. Obviously I'm frustrated because this is the second time in a row that a technical problem has put me out of the race. This cannot be allowed to happen again."
Batholemy - Kawasaki Competition Manager [bartholemy.jpg]
"This was another disappointing weekend for the Kawasaki Racing Team. The changeable weather during practice on Friday and Saturday meant we were under pressure to maximize dry track time on Saturday afternoon, but then we hit some problems, which meant we didn't qualify as high as we were expecting. We made some quite major changes to set-up ahead of the race, which certainly worked for John, but then this improvement was undone when a technical problem caused him to crash out of the race. Once again, Anthony battled on to the end, riding around the problems he's having with rear traction to finish in the points. We are obviously working to solve this issue, but with so many races in such a short space of time, it's not proving easy. After two retirements in as many races, now we must focus on getting both riders to the finish line in Catalunya."