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