Australian MotoGP: Perseverance pays off for Anthony West

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Home favourite Anthony West has spoken of his relief his never say die attitude has landed him a full-time factory contract in the 2008 MotoGP world championship.

Preparing for his first home MotoGP clash in Phillip Island this weekend as an official factory rider, Anthony West reckons he nearly packed in his world championship dream earlier this season after a torrid time with the Sicilia Aprilia 250 squad.

He was preparing to return to Australia when he landed a chance with Yamaha’s World Supersport team, before he then got a shock call-up to test injured Olivier Jacque’s factory Kawasaki ZX-RR in Barcelona in June.

When French rider Olivier Jacque announced his retirement, Anthony West’s career suddenly got a dramatic lift when he landed the ride for the rest of the season.

A series of impressive performances resulted in him securing a full-time contract next season to partner John Hopkins and he said:” I didn’t expect to be here on a factory Kawasaki and the season started out a little but different to what it has ended up.

“I’m just grateful to be here and having a lot of fun.

“Halfway through the season I was nearly ready to come home. There have been a lot of times when I have nearly given it away but I’ve had a lot of support from people and my family who have given me motivation to stay here.

“It gets a bit hard at times but I think the Aussie way is to stick at it and we are all motivated to do the best we can and that’s why we stay here no matter how hard it gets.

“Having a contract for next year there’s a lot less stress. I’ve always been wondering what I’m going to do. I was wondering whether I’d be working at McDonald’s next year or what was going on.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt