John Hopkins: “My instinct was to stop myself as quick as I could. I put as many body parts on the ground as I could and my hand dug into the asphalt.”
A wet final free practice session in Brno forced John Hopkins out of the Czech Republic MotoGP round with a broken finger on his right hand. The American, who was making a wild card appearance for Suzuki’s factory squad, lost control of his GSV-R machine on the brakes on his sixth lap of this morning’s rain-hit practice.
Hopkins, who is currently challenging for the BSB crown with the Samsung Crescent Suzuki squad, appeared to get to his feet without any injury. But he quickly clutched his right hand and after extensive medical checks, he was ruled unfit for tomorrow’s 22-lap race with damage to three fingers on his right hand.
His ring finger suffered the most extensive damage and he will fly back to California for an operation on Tuesday before working on regaining fitness ahead of the forthcoming BSB clash at Cadwell Park later this month.
Hopkins said after the crash: “I’ve fractured the index and middle finger and it’s not that bad, I could have ridden with these fractures. But the ring finger is the worst, there’s no knuckle left, it has spilt straight down the center of the knuckle. The whole center of the bone is spilt in half at the knuckle, there’s no knuckle and it is just impossible to bend it, so I need surgery. If I bend it now it just separates the bone. It just sucks. It is not a matter of strength or pain, the pain is nothing, it is just physically impossible to bend the finger.”
Hopkins blamed himself for causing the circumstances that led to his hand injury and added: “It’s stupid and I was just an idiot, I’m used to walls being a lot closer in BSB than they are in MotoGP and I’ve got mentally used to riding around walls. When I hit the ground I was going pretty fast. It was under initial braking, and my instinct was to stop myself as quick as I could. I put as many body parts on the ground as I could and my hand dug into the asphalt. Then the way I slid into the gravel trap it just completely mangled my hand so it could have and should have but I should have protected my arms and did what I always used to do. But I’m not used to it and made a stupid mistake.”