HOPKINS HEADS FOR SECOND HOME RACE Kawasaki's John Hopkins and Anthony West head across the English Channel for this weekend's British Grand Prix at Donington Park in confident mood, following successful test sessions aboard their Ninja ...
HOPKINS HEADS FOR SECOND HOME RACE
Kawasaki's John Hopkins and Anthony West head across the English Channel for this weekend's British Grand Prix at Donington Park in confident mood, following successful test sessions aboard their Ninja ZX-RR machines in Spain and Japan.
For Anglo-American Hopkins, the British Grand Prix is like a second home race, and the 25-year-old Kawasaki pilot heads for Donington determined to put on a virtuoso performance in front of the enthusiastic British crowd.
Hopkins is recovering well from the fractured vertebrae he sustained in a practice crash last time out in Catalunya. Although the injury is still causing him some discomfort, he remains confident that he'll be able to secure a strong result this weekend in front of his family, many of whom have made the trip over from California for the British Grand Prix.
Anthony West made his competitive MotoGP debut with the Kawasaki Racing Team in a wet race at Donington Park last season, and the 26-year-old Australian is looking forward to making his return to the United Kingdom this weekend.
Catalunya proved something of a turning point for West this season, and following a positive testing trip to Japan after the last race, the Kawasaki pilot arrives at Donington determined to battle his way back into the top ten.
The Donington Park circuit is one that punishes mistakes. The fast and flowing nature of the first part of the track, where all the corners run together, means that it's difficult to make up the time lost to a mistake, as the wrong line through one corner invariably upsets a rider's rhythm through the next series of turns. Accuracy and consistency are both key to a good result in the British Grand Prix.
John Hopkins - Kawasaki MotoGP Pilot #21 [hopkins.jpg]
"Following the Catalunya race we had a one day test where I rode as many laps as I could with the back injury I sustained in practice. This brought a few positive results before I headed over to England where I've spent time visiting family and friends with Ashleigh. In the lead up to the last two races I had been training very hard so thankfully I haven't lost any fitness, which is always a problem when carrying injuries, and I've had the chance to rest to help the healing process. I'm still very stiff and sore, but Donington Park is like a home away from home, and it's a track I definitely enjoy. For me the British Grand Prix is one of the biggest races of the season, with many members of my family coming to support me, and regardless of my injury I'll be looking to gain a strong result aboard the Kawasaki."
Anthony West - Kawasaki MotoGP Pilot #13 [west.jpg]
"After Catalunya I flew to Japan to complete two days intensive testing. Unfortunately the first day was rained off, but we managed to get quite a few laps in on day two and the results were positive. We focussed particularly on changing the engine settings to improve the overall handling of the machine and we found a set-up direction that's very different from what I'm used to. The bike felt really good, but the track had a lot more grip in comparison to those we race on in MotoGP, so the real test for the changes we've made will be this weekend at Donington Park. Last year we gained a strong result during my first outing on the Ninja ZX-RR and I hope that with the work we've done in the last week, we can be back where we belong in the top ten."