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 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.
"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".