WEST GOES IT ALONE AT SACHSENRING Anthony West will be the sole Kawasaki pilot on the grid for this weekend's German Grand Prix at Sachsenring, as teammate John Hopkins is forced to sit out the next two races due to injuries sustained during ...
WEST GOES IT ALONE AT SACHSENRING
Anthony West will be the sole Kawasaki pilot on the grid for this weekend's German Grand Prix at Sachsenring, as teammate John Hopkins is forced to sit out the next two races due to injuries sustained during a high-speed qualifying crash at Assen two weeks ago.
West heads into this weekend's race determined to make amends for a disappointing result last time out at the Dutch TT, where a lap seven crash while lying 11th ended his hopes of a second top ten finish in succession.
The 26-year-old Australian has a good record at the 3.671km Sachsenring circuit, where he finished eighth at last year's German Grand Prix in only his third race aboard Kawasaki's Ninja ZX-RR, and where he scored no less than six top ten finishes in the 250cc world championship in previous seasons.
Such experience at the track is a major plus point: its undulations and numerous, tricky corners mean there's little room for overtakes and it'll be West's track knowledge combined with the low-down and midrange power of his Ninja ZX-RR that will come to the fore for this race.
The Sachsenring, near the town of Chemnitz in Eastern Germany, is a particularly twisty circuit, where the tarmac snakes through 10 left turns and just four rights, making the correct set up and tyre choice absolutely imperative.
The first race at Sachsenring was held in 1927 on an 8.7km public roads circuit that ran through the village of Hohenstein-Ernstthal. The shorter road race circuit was constructed in the early 1990's and has since been used for a variety of racing activities.
West: Kawasaki MotoGP Pilot #13
"I quite like the Sachsenring circuit although, with its twists and turns and the fact that it has no real straight, it's a bit like racing around a go-kart track at times. It's really important to qualify well and then get a good start in the race, because it's really difficult to pass on this circuit. There are no real hard braking areas, so it's hard to pass on the brakes, and the straight is so short it's almost impossible to slipstream and then go past on power alone. And, with only four right-hand corners, you need to be a bit careful trying to pass there, as the right-hand side of the tyre tends to cool down quite quickly. But, it's a circuit that should suit our Ninja ZX-RR very well, and that should stand us in good stead this weekend. After Assen I'm determined to finish inside the top ten, and I hope it will be possible to improve on my tenth place finish at Donington this weekend."
Bartholemy: Kawasaki Competition Manager
"When we learnt the full extent of John's injuries we looked at putting a replacement rider on the bike for Sachsenring, but time was against us. It was felt that it wouldn't have been fair to put someone on the bike who'd never ridden it before, and there just wasn't time to organise a test ahead of the race, so Anthony will be flying the flag for Kawasaki on his own this weekend. He left Assen disappointed after crashing in the race and missing out on an almost certain top ten finish, but I'm confident that he will make amends this weekend with a strong performance at Sachsenring, where he's had good results in the past."