Kawasaki concluded their testing at Phillip Island before the winter break today, after which John Hopkins headed almost immediately to the hospital to have surgery performed on his leg.
Hopper had been experiencing pain ever since the surgery performed after his crash in Assen early in the 2008 season. Toughing it out, Hopkins showed determination to get this last week’s worth of testing in:
“Today was more positive for me. The injuries weren’t such a big problem, although I had to adapt because I still can’t put any pressure on the left footpeg…we found a pretty good setup on the bike, and my lap times were pretty consistent over the long runs we did for Bridgestone, and it’s this consistency that’s important to our development program right now.”
Hopper clocked in 1’32.1 lap today, about a second off his qualifying time at Phillip Island earlier this year.
Even though MotoGP is such a high profile sport, it is understated how often MotoGP riders become injured during the racing season (Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo also had notable injuries during 2008), and how often they ride on Sunday’s races with aliments and pains that would leave most of us weekend racers sitting on the couch with a cold one in hand, watching the races instead.
Hopkins plans to take it easy after the surgery, make a full-recovery, and then “train [his] butt off ready for the new season”.
Source: MotoGP; Photo: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images