Being the fine British blokes that they are, MCN was able to get ahold of Crescent Suzuki Boss Jack Valentine, and ask him about the validity to the rumors suggesting that the British Superbike team is pursuing John Hopkins as a possible rider for the 2011 season. Confirming that the rumors were true, but that nothing has been agreed to yet, Valentine told MCN that “Crescent are in discussions with former MotoGP star John Hopkins, who is now fully fit again and finished on the podium in the last two rounds of the AMA series.”
Rumors of Hopper being linked to Crescent Suzuki started on Wednesday, and we amplified yesterday when Asphalt & Rubber broke the news that John Ulrich was no only letting go of John Hopkins as a rider, but also accused the Anglo-American of misleading Team Hammer on his physical condition, particularly with his supposedly healed right hand. While the fallout between Ulrich and Hopkins ends a nearly 20 year relationship between the two AMA personalities, the now recovering Hopkins is still without a ride for the 2011 season.
Crescent Suzuki is likely just one of a few teams that are capitalizing on the opportunity, and is exploring the possibility of adding Hopper to its ranks. Like all motorcycle racing teams though, budgets are tight and the opportunity to add another rider into the team means that additional funds and sponsorships go hand-in-hand with such a decision, which is easier said than done these past few seasons.
With everything that has happened between Ulrich, Hopkins, and Monster Energy Drink, we wouldn’t imagine that Hopper will bring with him the same level of personal sponsorship as he did before in the 2010 season. Time will tell of course.