Kawasaki MotoGP rider John Hopkins won’t be fully fit for the weekend’s activities in Jerez. He tore an abductor muscle during a crash in Australia in January, but says he feels more than ready for another race, having had some time since Qatar to concentrate on his rehabilitation.
Team-mate Anthony West remains disheartened by a disappointing opening round but will not allow that to affect him as the practice sessions begin at the end of this week. The Queenslander is more determined than ever to make his mark.
Hopkins said: "The abductor muscle I tore at Phillip Island in January still isn’t completely fixed but everything’s going okay and I’ve been training hard. I’ve been in Miami, the sun’s been out and I’ve been taking care of myself before Jerez.
"We’ve had some more MRI scans done, which show the injury is still definitely there, unfortunately, but it’s not been keeping me from working on my fitness. Despite the muscle problem, I really feel 100% ready for the race and I’m really looking forward to it. I’m definitely going to improve on the position I got at Qatar. We’ll work on tyre choice and a good set up and it’ll be great to head back to Europe to race."
West said: "I really wasn’t happy with my performance at Qatar. Riding around at the back isn’t why I’m here and I need to get it together. My confidence was shot when I crashed a couple of times and, after that, I never really found my pace. My main aim is essentially to raise my game.
"I need to have more faith in the bike and the set up, especially when it comes to turning it in to the corners. This is a weak spot for me, of sorts. Still, I’m really looking forward to the Jerez race. I really want to prove myself and I’m hoping this is where I can start doing that."