John Hopkins to Wild Card at WSBK Silverstone Round

07/21/2011 @ 10:17 am, by Jensen Beeler8 COMMENTS

Announcing its plans back in March to skip Donington Park for Britain’s other track, Samsung Crescent Suzuki has confirmed that the team, along with Anglo-American rider John Hopkins (and teammate Jon Kirkham), will be attending the upcoming World Superbike round at Silverstone as wild card team entry. While Kirkham will be making his WSBK debut, this will be Hopper’s first time on a World Superbike-spec machine since his 2009 campaign with Stiggy Honda.

“We’ve had good success in the past with wild card rides, too, like Tom Sykes’ podium in 2008; we’re not there just to make up the numbers,” said Team Manager Jack Valentine. “And we can bet Hopper will be out to make a statement or two! We’re certainly looking to run competitively. Our only disadvantage is that we normally run under British superbike rules, which allows only one bike per rider, not two. That said, we’ve got one of the most professional teams in the sport, they’re able to turn any job around very quickly and very accurately. We should be okay.”

For a fun factoid: Hopper’s wild card at Silverstone means that he will have competed in the British Superbike, World Superbike, and MotoGP Championships this season, and if the former-AMA rider can find a one-off ride in the American Superbike series (not likely), then he can lay claim to the Grand Slam of Motorcycle Racing (we just made that hono(u)r up).

Source: Crescent Suzuki


  1. PD says:

    How does this work? Crescent’s BSB bikes are far lower spec than World SBK bikes, are they not? So, do they borrow WSBK-spec bikes? If so, from whom? Just upgrade parts and electronics? If so, does Crescent outlay so much money for the significant upgrades just for one race weekend (especially when the lowering of spec for the BSB series was to save money)? Just curious.

  2. Motominded says:

    Suzuka and Sugo are ready! Daijiro Kato’s passing was terrible but it does not mean Suzuka is the most dangerous track on earth. It was widely agreed his crash was due to rider error. After 2003, the Japanese championship still held events there and the Suzuka 8 hour is still an important race for the Japanese brands. To add, there have been riders killed at Brands Hatch, Indy, and Misano in the last few years but the WSBK/WSS and MotoGP still return there. I feel it is time Suzuka was reevaluated. Or even Sugo be given another chance at the world stage as Motegi isn’t as exciting as the others.

  3. Motominded says:

    Opps, wrong article. Disregard.

  4. SBPilot says:

    BSB bikes aren’t necessarily far lower spec than WSBK bikes. Especially top teams like Crescent, their team and bike is probably better prepped than most of the privateers in WSBK. The SWAN Yamaha team in BSB is actually using WSBK spec bikes straight from Yamaha, right up to the carbon fairings. Those were Yamaha’s 2010 bike that was suppose to be used for 2011 after more developing but Yamaha decided the other top WSBK teams are developing quicker than expected so they just made new bikes for the 2011 WSBK team and sold the ’10 to SWAN. It’s true that some top WSBK teams like Aprilia/Ducati/Yamaha have some really developed bikes with good personnel and good riders, but Hopper is one hell of a rider, and Crescent is one hell of a team. Privateers WSBK bikes are no better than Crescent’s bikes, if not worse.

  5. SBPilot says:

    Forgot to add, Crescent is probably more factory Suzuki than Alstare considering Paul Denning (MotoGp Suzuki) runs Crescent as well, so those BSB Gixxers are definitely top spec if not the best right you can get.

  6. John Hopkins to Wild Card at WSBK Silverstone Round – #motorcycle

  7. PD says:

    Hmm, I thought, in recent years, primarily to lower costs, similar to what the AMA did with its superbikes, limitations were placed with the BSB series to bring the superbikes closer to superstock spec, and away from the increasingly no-limit high spec of WSBK. Especially with regard to electronics, etc. So was this not the case?

  8. SBPilot says:

    Media was speculating that BSB Superbike takes on BSB Evo rules which is a pretty extreme cost cutting measure, stock engine, spec electronics etc. That has not happened yet but they have cut down to one rider per bike which I think is huge already. Currently I’m pretty sure BSB SBK is pretty open on modifications, engines internals, swing arms, open suspension, and electronics. Evo/Superstock rules is where the major cost cutting has been happening. In Superstock your engine can only have a modified head gasket and something else, very minor stuff, and I read those BMW super stock machines don’t’ even bother running a thinner head gasket.

    I hope WSBK cut costs for more bikes and more equal performing bikes on the grid, one bike rule is good, and they should ban Carbon Fibre body work, that would save so much money it’s incredible, just like how it’s now banned in WSS.