San Marino GP: Kawasaki Friday practice report

KAWASAKI LOOKING FOR IMPROVEMENTS AT MISANO Anthony West was the sole Kawasaki rider on the timesheet after today's two free practice sessions at Misano Adriatico, after complications with the rib injury he sustained in a practice crash at Brno...

KAWASAKI LOOKING FOR IMPROVEMENTS AT MISANO

Anthony West was the sole Kawasaki rider on the timesheet after today's two free practice sessions at Misano Adriatico, after complications with the rib injury he sustained in a practice crash at Brno forced John Hopkins to sit out the opening track sessions.

Following his career-best MotoGP result last time out at Brno, West was looking forward to boarding his Ninja ZX-RR this weekend at the San Marino circuit. However, the 27-year-old Australian has been plagued with a lack of confidence in the front-end of his race machine around the 4.20km track, and was disappointed not to have made more of an impression on the rest of the field.

West utilised the two hour-long practice sessions to revise his race set-up to suit the relatively bumpy and tight features of the Misano circuit, while finding a suitable Bridgestone tyre option for Sunday's 28-lap Grand Prix. The Kawasaki pilot ended the day 17th on the time sheets, and will work closely with his crew tomorrow to find a solution to improve the front-end feedback from his machine.

Hopkins suffered a displaced intercostal muscle in the Brno crash two weeks ago, and despite the injury healing well over the last week, the Anglo-American accidentally aggravated the injury on Thursday evening, with the accompanying pain resulting in a restless night for the Kawasaki pilot.

It was decided that, on safety grounds, Hopkins would not board the bike today, as the distraction of the injury, combined with the lack of rest that the Kawasaki pilot has suffered, would hinder his ability to focus one-hundred percent while on track.

Hopkins, who is still in some discomfort, will be back on track for tomorrow's qualifying if he responds well enough to the intense treatment he has been receiving at regular intervals during today.

Anthony West - #13 - 17th - 1'37.929

"We came here in good spirits following the last race, but it's been quite a frustrating day for us. We worked closely with Bridgestone throughout both sessions to find improved confidence in the front-end of my machine, yet we've ended the day in only 17th place. The bike feels very nervous, particularly in the bumpy sections of the circuit, which means I just can't get hard on the brakes and into the turns. Our set-up from Brno just isn't working here so we need to revise our direction to suit this circuit, and hopefully, as we did last time out, we can make a big improvement tomorrow."

John Hopkins - #21 - Not Classified

"To be sidelined by something so simple is really disappointing, but while the injury isn't serious it is really painful, especially when you're on the bike. I thought I was back to full fitness after resting up since Brno, but then I managed to tweak the same Intercostal muscle during a light training session on Thursday evening, and the pain kept me awake most of the night. The injury has responded well to treatment, and is now much improved, but the lack of sleep meant that it was difficult to concentrate fully ahead of this afternoon's practice session. Rather than risk further injury by riding at less than 100 percent, together with the team, I made the decision to sit out this afternoon's practice. Tomorrow I'll be good to go, and I hope that the lack of track time today won't stop us picking up where we left off at the last round."

Bartholemy - Kawasaki Competition Manager

"Today we made the decision for John not to ride as an injury he sustained at Brno, which seemed to be healing well, has caused him a tremendous amount of discomfort in the last few days. Although the treatment seems to be going well, he's had very little sleep and we felt it would be too much of a risk to let him out on track, particularly as he's still recovering from the recent surgery on his leg injuries. It's a difficult decision to make, particularly because he also missed the post-race test last time out, but we hope that tomorrow he will be fit enough to ride. Anthony is struggling with a lack of front-end confidence today and we have to look closely at how we can make radical improvements to his set-up. After his impressive race performance last time out in Brno, it's disappointing to see him at the bottom of the timesheet once again."

-credit: krt

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About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers John Hopkins , Anthony West