Kawasaki's John Hopkins heads across the Channel for this weekend's British Grand Prix at Donington Park in a positive mood, following successful test sessions aboard his Ninja ZX-RR machine in both Spain and Japan.

For Hopkins, the British Grand Prix is like a second home race, and the Anglo-American is travelling to Donington determined to put on a show for his many British fans.

The 25-year-old is still recovering from the fractured vertebrae he sustained in a practice crash last time out in Catalunya, but though the injury is admittedly causing him some discomfort, he remains confident that he can pull off a result in front of family and friends.

"Regardless of my injury I'll be looking to gain a strong result aboard the Kawasaki," the Californian-born ace urged. "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.

"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."

Hopkins' team-mate Anthony West made his debut for Kawasaki in a wet race at Donington Park last season, and the Australian is looking forward to making his return to the UK this weekend.

Catalunya proved to be something of a turning-point for West in 2008, and following a similarly positive testing trip to Japan after the last race, he arrives at Donington determined to battle his way back into the top ten.

"After Catalunya I flew to Japan to complete two days intensive testing," the 26-year-old recounted. "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.

"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."

by George Holland



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