John Hopkins’s Test with Rizla Suzuki Proves to be Literally Little More than a PR Stunt

03/13/2011 @ 6:32 pm, by Jensen Beeler3 COMMENTS

It seemed John Hopkins’s return to MotoGP was well underway, as reports earlier this year said the Anglo-American would be testing at MotoGP’s last pre-season test being held at Qatar this week; however Hopper’s stint on the GSV-R seems to have been relegated to merely doing some laps on the Suzuki MotoGP bike as part of a PR video campaign for the Rizla squad.

Hopper’s test originally was supposed to assess the former-MotoGP rider’s ability to apex a GP machine, and give Paul Denning’s squad an option should Alvaro Bautista become injured in the 2011 season. After Saturday’s filming though, Hopper’s return seems less likely, but the now British Superbike rider remains hopeful.

“It’s really good to have been given this opportunity and it’s just been great to be here!” said Hopkins. “It feels really cool to be back out and riding on a GP bike, even if it was just for filming it was still a lot of fun. I did start to get a decent feeling on the bike and it still feels awesome, even with the minimal amount of laps we were doing.”

“It would be great to race the Suzuki in a MotoGP event, so hopefully I can have some success in BSB and get the chance to go for it in a Grand Prix again sometime in the future,” continued the Anglo-American. “My ultimate goal is to get back to MotoGP, but for now my full focus is on doing the best I can in the British Superbike championship with the Samsung Crescent team. I’ve really enjoyed today and I am very grateful to Rizla Suzuki for giving me the chance to be here – and thanks to Álvaro for letting me use one of his Rizla bikes.”

Source: Rizla Suzuki

  • Blake

    Gee…this was a bit prophetic after the start of the 2011 GP season.

  • dendron

    At 27 the Hopper would seem to have some more time on the clock despite never having finished higher than 3rd in seven MotoGP seasons. He’s supposed to be riding the British Superbike circuit this season, but, hey, who wouldn’t punt that for another shot at MotoGP? His brief stint in the AMA series last year only served to piss off his original benefactor, John Ulrich, for misrepresenting an injury to his hand after a couple of surgeries, but, apparently, that’s not a factor for Suzuki who selected him to fill in for the injured Alvaro Bautista. Hmmm, we’ll see how it goes. I, personally, wish John all the best, and hope his surgically repaired hand is in form…he’ll need it for what may be his MotoGP swan song.