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Old 11-06-2008, 07:49 AM   #1
jodyhudson
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SuperBikePlanet.com Interview: Ex-MotoGP Rider Anthony West

Q The whole MotoGP season was a disappointment. You're a good rider. It's unfortunate the way it worked out.

A Yeah, yeah. It was real disappointing, because I expected so much this year out of the bike, and how good it went last year, when I first dropped on, I was top ten. I had some good races. And then - so I expected more this year, and it just never happened. They never - never developed the bike the way I wanted, and they never really listened to me in the beginning, until sort of halfway through the season they actually started to realize I'm not talking when I'm telling them what's wrong with the bike. They finally started to listen a little bit, but it's a bit too late. They said they're building a bike for the way I like it, but it's not going to be ready 'til next year, and I'm not riding it, so it's no use to me.

Q Did they expect Superman performance on the bike? What were they basing it on, the idea that you were doing poorly? I don't understand. Because Hopkins wasn't performing any miracles on it either.

A Exactly. I don't know. I guess they need to blame someone, and that's me. They think - they always seemed to think their bike was perfect. Hopefully now they're finally starting to realize it's not, because our results haven't been good, and Hopkins hasn't been so good either, and he was fourth last year, and many times on the podium. Yeah. We both struggled on it, and both had a lot of crashes. It was just a difficult season for both of us.

Q Were the bike problems just issues with the front end going into the corner, as was reported?

A It would change on how the bike was set up, but it's - it's just the balance of the bike is all wrong, and they're never going to fix it with just setting it up, with changing suspension. That was the problem. We kept trying to tell them to change the frame, and change this and that, but they wouldn't listen. Or wouldn't listen to me, because I guess I haven't been in MotoGP long enough for them to listen to me. And then finally at the end of the season, last race, the Japanese actually said, "Oh, yeah, we should've listened to you," because everything I've said's been correct. They finally realized that. It took them all season, but...

Q It's got to be frustrating when they would finally say that to you after everything you put in, and got thrown down the road a few times trying to make them happy.

A Yes. Yes.

Q Trying to make them happy.

A Yeah, it sort of me off. But like - yeah, because they finally come to me and said, "Yeah, we should've listened to you in the beginning, and everything that you've said for the season on data and everything, it's been 100% correct on what's wrong with the bike, and we're building a bike for the way you - for your request next year, but sorry, you're not going to be riding it." So it's just been frustrating, because they haven't done enough keep going forward like all the other manufacturers have. So it's just frustrating for us riding the bike. You lose confidence when you already know they're not doing enough to make it go faster, and we're busting our trying to ride it.

Q From a rider's standpoint, if they're not trying to build any confidence in you ...

A Yeah. Like if they're coming with parts every weekend, and if they're not working, at least you know they're trying to do something. But -

Q But there weren't parts coming every weekend? You got two major revisions during the season, right?

A I wouldn't say that, no.

Q Really?

A No. I would say we went back to what we had last year. But it's a long story, and I don't really want to say anything bad about Kawasaki. But the revisions that we had were nothing, really. It was basically back to what we know works. Nothing new on the bike.

Q John had some issues on and off the track. He was injured, and he had the paddock incident at Misano or wherever it was. How did that affect the team?

A For sure it didn't do the team any good. Because I don't know. All the mechanics I work with - because I worked with John's side as well, before I switched to the other side - all the mechanics are great guys, and they all work really hard, and they don't make many mistakes. But you can just sort of feel in the team, everyone's a bit disappointed, because Kawasaki don't - just haven't - I don't know. They feel, as well, that they're not wanting to win as much as the other guys do. Like they're there racing, and they're putting a lot of money into it, but they just feel like they're not developing enough to want to win.

Q The passion and the desire perhaps isn't there as it is with other teams.

A Yeah. Yeah. And that's how the whole team, I think, feels, a little bit, as well. And yeah, it just - it's when the whole team feels like that. We're just sort of like, "Yeah, this is what we've got, and this is what we have to work with," and we just try and do the best we can each time, but we know we're not going to be at the front, because nothing's changing. So yeah. For everyone it's difficult, and yeah, with things, with John and that, I don't know. He just didn't seem as happy as what he did when he was with Suzuki, as well. It's just made the year even harder for him, and for me.

Q But you're back into a good situation for next year. Back in World Supersport now on a Stiggy Honda.

A Yeah. Should be competitive. I've ridden here before. It's pretty exciting racing here. It's like 125s in GP and that. I'm just looking for a good year, and just to be happy again, because last - this year was - like a great experience, and I'm happy Kawasaki gave me that opportunity to ride MotoGP, and if I had the chance I would still ride with them again. But I'd definitely do it differently. I'd definitely push them a lot harder. And now that I have the experience and be confident that I know what I'm saying's right. Because I've realized that everything I said to them was right. But I'm just looking forward to having a good year next year. And yeah. To have a bit of fun again racing.

by dean adams & susan haas
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:56 AM   #2
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I hope we see him right up front in WSS.
He's a quality rider for sure but things just didn't gel in motogp, shame
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:42 PM   #3
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:47 PM   #4
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Old 11-07-2008, 02:06 PM   #5
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