German GP: Kawasaki Racing Team race report

TOP TEN FOR WEST AT WET SACHSENRING Anthony West overcame a painful back injury and treacherous conditions to match his best result of the season at Sachsenring today. The Kawasaki pilot crossed the line in tenth place aboard his Ninja ZX-RR ...

TOP TEN FOR WEST AT WET SACHSENRING

Anthony West overcame a painful back injury and treacherous conditions to match his best result of the season at Sachsenring today. The Kawasaki pilot crossed the line in tenth place aboard his Ninja ZX-RR after crashing and remounting earlier in the 30-lap race.

West had a huge crash in practice on Friday, leaving him with what was originally thought to be a badly bruised back. However, a further medical examination and x-rays on Saturday evening revealed fractured vertebrae identical to the injury suffered by his teammate, John Hopkins, at Catalunya.

The 26-year-old Australian struggled with the injury during this morning's 20-minute warm-up session but simply gritted his teeth for the race, as he fought his way from the back of the grid to seventh place in the opening laps.

West looked set to record his best result of the year so far, until an uncharacteristic mistake in the wet conditions saw him lose the front of his Ninja ZX-RR at the final turn, while battling for fifth position with Chris Vermeulen and Alex De Angelis.

The Kawasaki pilot remounted and rejoined the race, quickly moving back up to tenth place despite his left foot constantly slipping off a damaged foot peg and a gear lever half it's usual length.

In the closing stages of the race West was one of the fastest riders on track, but although he managed to claw back more than four seconds on Shinya Nakano in ninth place, he simply ran out of laps and was forced to settle for tenth position at the chequered flag.

West will undergo further treatment on his back injury ahead of next weekend's USGP at Laguna Seca, where the Australian will be joined by Jamie Hacking, who will substitute for the injured John Hopkins aboard Kawasaki's Ninja ZX-RR.

Anthony West 13 - 10th Position [west.jpg]

"I'm disappointed because it was possible for me to finish much higher than tenth today. I got a good start and made up lots of places in the opening laps, eventually closing onto the back of Chris Vermeulen and Alex De Angelis, who were battling for fifth place. I was pushing hard to stay with them when I lost the front under braking for the final turn. It was a stupid mistake to make, but luckily the bike wasn't too badly damaged and I was able to rejoin the race quite quickly. From then it was just a case of getting my head down and trying to retake as many places as possible. It was quite hard, because my injured back was really sore and I couldn't push on the left foot peg, as most of it was snapped off in the crash. This is only my second top ten finish of the season but that's no consolation when I know, but for a stupid mistake, I could have finished much higher today."

Bartholemy: Kawasaki Competition Manager

"It's been a difficult weekend for Anthony. The two big crashes during practice left him with a painful back injury, as well as knocking his confidence. They also put his crew under a lot of pressure, as they worked to rebuild two very badly damaged bikes between sessions. As a result his qualifying performance was affected and starting from the back row of the grid just made a tough job even tougher today. I'm happy that Anthony managed to finish the race in the top ten but, like him, I'm also a little disappointed because it was possible for him to do much better today. We've seen how good he is when conditions are wet, so he should have been in his element this afternoon. Instead he made an unforced error and that cost him an almost guaranteed top five finish today."

-credit: kawasaki

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series MotoGP
Drivers Jamie Hacking , Shinya Nakano , John Hopkins , Chris Vermeulen , Anthony West