Rizla Suzuki has announced that John Hopkins will return to MotoGP action for another race, riding again as wild card entry, this time at Sepang. The Malaysian GP will be Hopper’s third stint in MotoGP this season, as the Anglo-American filled-in for the injured Álvaro Bautista at the Spanish GP in Jerez and was entered as a wild card for the Czech GP, where he unfortunately injured his wrist in a crash during Free Practice.
Currently leading the British Superbike Championship with the Samsung Crescent Racing team, Hopper will be looking to button-up the BSB Championship next weekend at Brands Hatch. Making a remarkable showing during his rookie year in BSB, this wild card ride with Rizla Suzuki is surely a reward for Hopkins’ determination this season, which has seen him make an appearance in World Superbike, on-top of his extracurricular MotoGP activities.
Making no secret about the fact that he wants to return to MotoGP, Hopper’s hard work has clearly been paying off, as the Anglo-American has been linked to offers with LCR Honda, presumably if a deal with Andrea Dovizioso does not materialize. There is of course a direct link between Hopkins and the Rizla Suzuki team, which has the same management as the Crescent Suzuki squad in BSB. Should Suzuki put together a two-bike program for MotoGP in 2012, we would expect to see Hoppers name on the short list of candidates for that endeavor as well.
“I am really pumped to get this chance to ride in a MotoGP race with the Rizla Suzuki team,” said Hopkins. “I thought after Brno that I wouldn’t get the opportunity again and was really disappointed that I missed out there due to a silly mistake, so to be heading to Sepang is fantastic. It is one of my favourite tracks and I know it well because we used to test there a lot.”
“My main focus is on the British Championship at the moment, but as soon as that is over I will be in MotoGP mode and putting all my efforts into getting a good result at Sepang and showing that I can perform at the highest level. I really want to get back into MotoGP and this is a great chance to show what I can do. Again I need to thank everyone at Rizla Suzuki for giving me this opportunity and my Samsung Crescent team – I hope that by the time I get back on the MotoGP bike we will have been celebrating something really big at Brands Hatch!”
Source: Rizla Suzuki