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Hopkins Signs with Suzuki BSB Squad

Wednesday, January 19, 2011
American John Hopkins will contest the 2011 road racing season for Crescent Suzuki in the British Superbike Championship. The former MotoGP rider competed select rounds of the AMA Pro Racing season last year, missing time due to surgery. Hopper raced with Suzuki in MotoGP as well, with his best season a fourth-place overall in 2007. A California native, both of Hopkins' parents are British. - MCUSA Ed

John Hopkins - Sepang Test
John Hopkins pictured here during his 2007 MotoGP stint with Rizla Suzuki. Hopper will compete 2011 in British Superbike, having raced the AMA Pro Racing series in 2010.
The Crescent British Superbike team is delighted to have secured the services of Anglo-American star John Hopkins for the 2011 British Superbike Championship and will begin testing the GSX-R1000 at Cartagena, Spain, in early March.

Hopkins finished fourth in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship on a Suzuki and will be renewing a strong bond that was formed with Crescent during his time with the MotoGP team. 'Hopper' was born in Ramona, California but regards himself as half-British because both of his parents originated from London. He has always been proud of his UK heritage and races with the Union Flag on his leathers.

The 27-year-old racer is now back to full fitness following corrective wrist surgery last season to save his career, which was so successful, it enabled him to make a late-season comeback, also on a GSX-R, in the American Superbike Championship and secure podium finishes.

Crescent will make a separate announcement regarding the team's title and secondary sponsors in due course.

John Hopkins:
"I'm totally stoked about coming to Britain to race with Crescent in BSB, as this will feel a bit like coming home because I have so many friends and family over in the UK. I'm 100% fit now and this will give me a great a great chance to prove that I'm still able to be competitive at the highest level. I've always dreamed of winning the World Championship - that's still my goal - and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to get that ambition back on track. I haven't raced on many of the UK circuits, so that will be a big learning curve, but I'll be able to get to grips with them quickly and hope to be on the pace as soon as possible. The Suzuki's a great package, I know I can win races and obviously winning the title is the ultimate goal, so we'll have to see what we can do! I would also like to thank Paul and all at Crescent for giving me this opportunity to race in the UK and plan to repay their faith in me with some great results for the team."

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:
"It's fantastic that we have been able to get a guy of John's talent to sign for Crescent. He is a great rider and always exciting to watch, plus he's tasted podium success in MotoGP, so he is certainly bringing great experience with him to the BSB grid. He's really focused on racing at the highest level and sees BSB as his stepping stone to get back to world level. The whole team is looking forward to working with John and we are all sure this is going to be a great adventure for all concerned."

Paul Denning - Team Owner:
"I've never been as excited about a BSB season as I am about 2011 - it's great to keep the team together and to be working with John again is a real opportunity. This isn't about money or politics for either of us - it's about ambition and determination and John is putting everything he can into this. It's been a tough couple of months for the BSB team, but the loyalty and support of so many partners and friends has been superb - we're looking to repay them and I hope we add significantly to the excitement of the superb BSB series in 2011".
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Comments
GR -W-parker, fairness?  January 20, 2011 11:23 AM
Hopper was with Suzuki too long in MotoGP!? Historically, the factory Suzuki team has always been the least competitive on the grid. Roberts Jr. made them shine in 2000 though. Other Satellite teams fair better which Suzuki doesn't even have being so small! Hopper should have stayed in the AMA for another year before moving around. He hasn't dominated any series yet. He needs to be a champion/runner-up before moving on to the next step! Look at Ben Spies? A very smart talented racer... he dominated AMA, WSB, then moved to MotoGP where he was next to the aliens! Spies knew to switch brands after seeing what the Suzuki MotoGP bike was capable of. Anywho... no more excuses for Hopper! At the end of the 2011 season will he be complaining that he didnt know the circuits well enough which caused his poor results?!
W1LLPARKER -GR in all fairness..  January 20, 2011 08:31 AM
..he never really had that competitive a bike in MotoGp..
GR -No More Excuses JH  January 20, 2011 04:58 AM
He was the great American Hope so many years ago to be the next American MotoGP Champ! Never came to past! He was a great rider early on but lacked the know-how to be a champion due to jumping other series. Now after all the injuries he's visited WSB, AMA, and now BSB!? Still no titles to his name... not even runner-up bragging rights yet. Now at 100% fitness? Time to get the job done (somewhere) already! Who does he have as a manager that seems to always find him top level work???
kevin -Hopper is competitive  January 19, 2011 06:38 PM
I've never seen a rider with such potential get stuck on so many bad bikes/teams and then have so many injuries. He raced in MotoGP for Suzuki forever without much injury and he started getting hurt left and right the last few years.
R34 -RE: washed up - more washed up hopper  January 19, 2011 04:09 PM
He definitely has gone down hill after leaving the Premier Series for Suzuki. This guy has had to deal with a lot of unfortunate events, and not all of them we're due to injuries. I have no doubt Hopper would be still active in building the ZXRR if they didn't pull out today, probably making it more competitive than Suzuki. Compeitive or not, he is a good develeopment rider and racer at the top level that comes with more inconsistencies than the average top level rider, which has been unfortunate. I wish him the best in BSB, because I would love for this guy to make a come back into GP. Although he was not a podium threat, by no means was he a slouch to competing in the top ten. Awesome rider to watch. Go Hopper!
washed up -more washed up hopper  January 19, 2011 03:45 PM
if anyone is paying him to ride, then they have too much money. This guy has been washed up for 4 years already!!!!!!!!!
Motofreak -Injury Prone  January 19, 2011 03:11 PM
Hopkins is a walking ambulance ride. He's hardly competitative and full of excuses. It's either the bike or he's hurt. Maybe he can replace Ralph Shaheen at comentating. Side note...Where's Jamie Hacking ??? Please tell me he's coming back this year.
charlie toast -What a signing!  January 19, 2011 02:53 PM
It's great that Hopper will be riding competitively, and the Cresecent Suzuki team must be happy too, to get such a quality rider. I hope that Hopper does well in BSB, and can use that as a springboard to re-launch his career, which has been blighted mainly by injury. Go Hopper! I wish someone would upload the BSB series, otherwise I just get to see a few races (on TV) when I'm over in the UK.
Mark -Best of luck  January 19, 2011 11:36 AM
I'm gald Hopper has found a place to show what he can do. I think it might be tough learning new tracks, but he should do well with Denning for a crew chief. I sure wish the BSB series was televised in the states.