Hoppergate continues on as it would seem MotoGP upstart, FB Corse, has their kneepucks in a bunch about the press they’ve been recieving lately from “websites on the other side of the ocean.” This would seem to be a poke in the eye to publications like RoadRacing World (and others), who have cast some doubt on John Hopkins’ commitment to FB Corse, as the former MotoGP rider has yet to sign a contract with the Italian team.
John Hopkins has been confirmed to be testing with AMA team M4 Suzuki (Team Hammer) this coming February 2nd & 3rd, and according to FB Corse is doing so with their permission “in order for the Anglo-American to stay bike sharp, and that it in no way compromises his apparent role with FB Corse.”
FB Corse’s statement, which was issued in Italain (translated below), the Italian team says the following on BikeRacing.it:
“Following the circulation of a number of partially incorrect news stories regarding our team, which have appeared in the past 24 hours, and fed by conflicting interpretations of certain articles produced by the media (misinformation primarily issuing from websites on the other side of the ocean), FB Corse has been compelled to clarify the situation concerning its commitment to MotoGP. The primary objective of our team and of the American rider John Hopkins remains the same that it has been over the past few months. In addition to remaining in peak physical condition, the rider wanted to maintain his feeling for two wheels on the racetrack, and to satisfy his natural desire to ride a racing motorcycle in his own country. It is possible for this to take place with our approval, as it is in both our interests.
“The Californian’s management, through Bob Moore, joins with FB Corse in reiterating their regret that they have not been able to test the 34100 on a track yet. The primary goal remains to realize the MotoGP project, through the new adventure of the Italian triple. For his part, John himself has said that he remains extremely anxious to test our motorcycle, rather than a bike from a lesser category. The fact that forces outside our control prevent us from taking part in an immediate test, with a rookie rider in MotoGP, does not mean that he has made arrangements to compete in another category in 2010.
“FB Corse would therefore like to underline that the circumstances discussed in the past few days are part of a normal process, agreed between the parties. Our team continues with its ambitious and difficult work, working towards the presentation in Milan, which we hope will take place in the month of February, after the return of Andrea Ferrari (who needs to undergo a minor operation in the next few days), and whose presence is necessary at the launch. We hope that we will be able to settle the curiosity of all those interested in the project at that event.”
From what we can gather on the issue, RoadRacing and virtually every other major website that follows MotoGP has said nothing concrete about Hopper making a jump into the AMA Pro Racing series. Sources close to Asphalt & Rubber and M4 Suzuki suggest that instead the outrage from FB Corse is another attempt to get their team name in the papers during this off-season. Our sources go on to say that John Ulrich (owner of RoadRacing World) has offered Hopper a ride on his team should he require an alternative course of action with FB Corse.
As before, the whole situation begs the question as to why no material contract has come to fruition between Hopkins and FB Corse…we think the facts speak for themselves in this regard. Hopper in AMA? Hopper in MotoGP? Only time will tell, but you can bet that both teams would love to have the Monster Energy Drink sponsorship that comes with the talented young rider.