West eyes permanent MotoGP ride

Local rider Anthony West is hoping to use his surprise start in the Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix to help secure a permanent team spot next year.

West, 34, had lost his place in the Moto2 series and was competing in the UK when he was offered the chance to fill in for injured AB Honda rider Karel Abraham for the Phillip Island race.

“It’s a good opportunity to be back on a bike,” West said on Thursday.

“I know the track pretty well and I know how to ride a MotoGP bike. It’s been a while since I’ve been on one but I’ve always enjoyed it so I think I should get along with it well.

“I hope we can keep the thing upright, score some points and try to impress the team so I can try to get some sponsorship for next year.

“That’s the main thing I’m chasing at the moment – working towards 2016.”

West will have two chances to impress as he will also fill in for Abraham at the Malaysian MotoGP as the Czech continues to recover from a foot injury.

He admits it’s been a mad scramble to prepare after Abraham asked him to fill in last week.

“When we roll out for Friday’s practice, it will be the first lap I’ve ever done on the bike,” he said.

“You’ve got (a lot of) horsepower to play with and you’ve got to try and go as fast as you can from the first lap.

“The suspension is different; the brakes are different … it’s been a while but I think it should be ok.”

West last rode in a MotoGP series back in 2008 when he was on a Kawasaki.

He joins fellow Australians Jack Miller, on a LCR Honda, and another injury replacement in Damian Cudlin, who will take Alex de Angelis’ ride on the Iodaracing Team, as the local hopes on the grid.

De Angelis remains in intensive care in a Japanese hospital but is making steady progress after suffering head and chest injuries in a crash during a practice session ahead of the Japanese GP.

“First and foremost, I want to wish Alex de Angelis a full and speedy recovery from his injuries,” Cudlin said via a team statement. “It was a nice surprise for me to receive an offer from Team e-motion Iodaracing, although, if I’m honest, I was a bit hesitant to replace Alex under these circumstances.

“But after hearing the positive news of Alex’s recovery progress, we agreed to do it and I couldn’t be more excited to be riding in MotoGP again.

“Obviously, it won’t be easy for me and I’m not expecting any miracles. I just want to do the job that I’m there for, give the team good feedback, try and stay upright and get us to the finish.”

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