John Hopkins returns to MotoGP at Jerez this weekend replacing the injured Bautista
JOHN Hopkins makes his return to MotoGP at Jerez this weekend reuniting with Rizla Suzuki to replace the injured Álvaro Bautista.
“I was shocked by what happened to Álvaro, especially after such good winter testing, and I really wish him a speedy and full recovery - I wanted the opportunity to get back on a MotoGP bike, but not under these circumstances." said Hopkins.
Riding for the Rizla Suzuki outfit in the debut year of the 800cc ruling Hopkins finished the season in fourth position before moving to Kawasaki for two injury plagued years, the American said: "I’m under no illusions that this will be tough weekend for me, as I’ve not been on a GP machine for a couple of years or ridden the new control tyres – except for the filming I did in Qatar a couple of weeks ago – so I realise this will be a step up from what I have been riding recently."
Experiencing the latest iteration of the Suzuki GSV-R800 in some promotional laps ahead of the opening round at Qatar, Hopper said of the ride: "The bikes have moved on in the last three years, but when I rode the GSV-R at Losail it seemed so familiar and I immediately had a good feeling, but that was at filming pace, so it’s going to be a lot different at race pace!"
Hopper hasn't had the best experiences at the Spanish circuit, in his last race he finished last, but ahead of the second round of the MotoGP championships admits that he will only be on the back foot with regards to the new GSV-R or the Rizla Suzuki team structure: "I know the Jerez track well, so it’s not like I need to learn a new circuit and I also know the team well so that that will help a lot. I will certainly be trying as hard as I can to get a good result and make sure that I don’t disappoint anybody – myself included."
Having to watch someone else ride his bike from the sidelines, Bautista is progressing well on his road to recovery from the operation to repair his broken thigh bone.
Posted: 29/03/2011 at 16:39
Posted: 05/05/2012 at 13:58
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