Stiggy Racing Honda has confirmed that Jake Zemke will replace injured rider John Hopkins for the Monza round of the World Superbike Championship. Hopper had a big off at WSBK’s stop in Assen which left the American with a dislocated hip and fractured femur. Hopper hopes to be back on the bike by WSBK’s stop at Miller Motorsport Park, although that goal seems lofty. In the interim, Zemke will have to fill his shoes.
This will be Zemke’s second attempt at Monza. Back in 2008, Zemke was scheduled to substitute for Roberto Rolfo aboard the Althea Honda, but a last-minute paperwork problem with the AMA prevented Zemke him from racing. Rolfo was ultimately replaced by John Hopkins, at Monza, but via results, not injury.
On the replacement, Zemke stated:
“I am extremely excited to race for the Stiggy Racing Honda team this weekend. They have a first rate team and have had some excellent results. I would like to wish Hopper a quick recovery and thank him and the team for the opportunity to make my first World Superbike start. I also have to thank my current team, Erion Honda and my sponsors for their support.
The WSBK Championship is the most competitive championship there is, and making my start in the series is the next step in my career. I have been succesful racing on America, but am really looking forward to joining the World Superbike paddock. The field is very fast and deep. The Monza track has a deep history of racing, and I know how passionate the Italian people are about racing. I know the odds will be against us, learning a new bike, new track, new tires, but I will give it my all at Monza for the Stiggy Racing Honda team.”
Zemke is on loan from the Erion Honda, where he races in the 2009 Pro Daytona SportBike class.