Hopper Turns Down Tech3 and Repsol Ride Offers

06/06/2011 @ 3:18 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

With two riders out of MotoGP right now because of shoulder injuries (Dani Pedrosa & Colin Edwards), the number of riders in the premier class has dropped down to just 15 expected to compete at the British GP. With that news comes pressure from Dorna for the teams to find replacements, and with a limited talent pool, the usual suspects are being bandied about. One of the people on the short list is former-GP rider John Hopkins, who raced for Rizla Suzuki at the Spanish GP in Jerez after Álvaro Bautista broke his femur at Qatar and was unable to compete.

Hopper has apparently been contacted by Monster Yamaha Tech 3 and Repsol Honda, as the Anglo-American tweeted, “I’m so honored to have even been considered for such top level Moto GP rides and yes a full time Moto GP ride is my future goal but I am contracted to Samsung Crescent Suzuki and I believe remaining 100% loyal and honoring my current commitments will pay off in the end !”

With no schedule conflicts existing with his current British Superbike ride with Crescent Suzuki, we imagine the team is less than keen on Hopper riding for another manufacturer, especially when a channel from BSB to the Suzuki MotoGP team seems to so prominently exist with Hopkins and Paul Denning. Who will actually replace Edwards and Pedrosa is a matter of much gossip, more on that as we get it.

Source: John Hopkins (Twitter)

  • AlexOnTwoWheels

    Hoppers loyalty to Suzuki, while admirable, has limited his career dramatically. Not sure what kind of a deal keeps you stuck at one manufacturer for close to 10 years, but I sure hope it’s lucrative cause I believe Hoppers got the goods to run up front, and has for a long time, but been limited by the sled. Spies was a Suzuki rider through AMA, and did a wild card ride at Laguna and Indy. My guess is that he rode the GP and said “Nope, that’s not gonna get me where I can go”. The switch to Yamaha and the WSBK tour was the right path. So, when I hear Hopper saying “A full time ride in MGP is my long term goal” while professing loyalty to Suzuki, a couple sayings come to mind: “If you do what you always did, you’ll get what you always got.” and “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result.”

  • Hopper had some stints with Kawasaki and Triumph in those 10 years you know. I think Hopper knows his only ticket back into MotoGP is with Paul Denning, and his not keen on ruffling any of his feathers, or the feathers that oversee the Crescent Racing team.

  • 76

    Andrea Iannone lets see what that italian missile can do on a Respsol Honda

    Jonny Rea, seems like an obvious choice for the Honda fill in, he already tested

    Eugene Laverty is a GP hopeful in the future

    Leon Haslam is hating life at BMW and would skip town in a heartbeat if he could.

    Of course I dont know these guys contracts but I would like to see what they could do on a gp bike

    Hopper on the other hand also had that huge fallout between Ulrich saying he basically lied about his health last year, I’m guessing his word is a fragile thing in the racing worlds eyes or at least his own.

  • raymond17


    Here we go again……Hopper did not lie to Ulrich when he signed contract. As far as Hopper knew his surgery had been a success until a while later (after signing ) He found out the Doctor had secured pins through his tendons (by accident) and killed off his tendons.
    Hopper rode several races in pure agony and was then told to retire by same doctor. Thank God he didn’t listen and we all know what the end result has been there. PODIUMS for Ulrich. Who I might add got his money 100 fold out of Hopkins over the years.

  • raymond17

    Oh and Beeler,

    I don’t believe Suzuki will be Hopper’s only option back to Motogp. If that was the case why was he Repsol and Tech 3’s first choice as replacement rider??
    He has a lot of credability in the paddock, he is well liked and respected. I would guarantee a couple of offers for next year. not just Suzuki.

  • GeddyT

    If only half of the CRT bikes that have put their deposit down make the grid next year, Hopper will have at least a dozen full-time MotoGP rides to choose from so long as he doesn’t mind racing for 10th place. But with the bikes he’s been on, he’s used to that anyway.

  • 76


    I was just reiterating what Ulrich’s accusations were, I dont know ether. Its was a big hoopla though when it went down and I’m sure neither has forgotten, it just seemed to me that Hopper was keen on stating hes keeping his word/ 100% loyal. Not that he ever did anything wrong but definitely seems to make it a point here in his statement.

    sidenote, with all that hoopla it did seem to me that Ulrich blew his lid and was rather determined to hurt Hopkins career with his very public statement, his actions were unprofessional simple as that

  • lord_tizzle

    I say what about Josh Hays for the Tech 3 slot. at his age that will be his only shot. Not that he is not awesome. but even he will tell you that late 30’s is kinda long in the tooth for a full motogp ride. may be is last chance to ride with the big boys. plus it may help him get to World SBK. He’s got friends there plus the age thing won’t be an issue. i say use a wild card in moto gp to get into SBK. worked for Spies and R.L.Hayden.

  • ipso

    It was reported/confirmed (in his own words) that Hopper has addressed an earlier alcohol problem. Although he is thankfully over that, I suspect his “recovery” requires undying support from his current management – full stop.

  • raymond17

    Well, Ipso. That is an idiot thing to write. What has that got to do with current management?? Hopper quit drinking almost 2 years ago.

  • ipso

    Well, Raymond; sorry you have to revert to name calling. (Did it hurt you that bad? ..It only hurts if it’s true ya know.)

    His drinking is subject in major journalism within the last couple of months. It is not a forgotten 2 year old issue; probably nor will it ever be. Perhaps you don’t understand how current management can poison the well of future management’s perception of Hopper as a risk? It wouldn’t take much would it? If you don’t see the need for increased loyalty, which is exactly what he is saying in various interviews, then maybe you’re post is the more idiotic.

  • AlexOnTwoWheels

    Let’s not all forget the guy was in his early 20’s, GOOD for him to be partying! That makes me like him more, and he is still one of my favorite riders! He’s growing up a bit, and he’ll be back.

  • raymond17

    Way to go, Alex…..someone with a clue. The only thing Teams and Managment and Whoever else in racing are concerned about is if you can deliver the goods. Otherwise, most racers would not be racing. Not everyone is squeeky clean!

    It seems like John can handle himself and Team managers are calling him……….