John Hopkins to Ride for Rizla Suzuki Starting in Jerez

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John Hopkins has seemingly been unable to get out to Qatar in time to fill-in for the injured Álvaro Bautista, instead Rizla Suzuki will go without a rider for the Qatar GP. Despite that setback, Hopper will pick-up with the Suzuki squad at the Spanish GP, racing once again on the GSV-R at Jerez. Out of all the riders in the MotoGP paddock, Hopkins has had the most success with the Suzuki MotoGP bike, finishing fourth in the 2007 MotoGP Championship.

Bautista’s tragedy is Hopkins’s fortune, as the former-MotoGP rider has been looking for a way back into MotoGP every since the Kawasaki MotoGP team closed up show, leaving Hopper out of a job for the 2009 season. Making a single-season showing in World Superbike, Hopkins also did a brief one season stint in the AMA last year. After spilling some bad blood with John Ulrich’s Team Hammer, Hopkins moved on to British Superbike where he is with Paul Denning’s Crescent Racing squad.

Having the MotoGP resume and Crescent Racing connection has been a fortunate move for Hopper, who instantly became the favored person to ride for Álvaro Bautista after his injury.

“John isn’t happy with what happened to Álvaro, but I know he will do a solid job for us in Jerez, and we are hoping to arrange a shakedown test beforehand,” said Team Manager Paul Denning. “Álvaro’s comeback timing isn’t clear, and John has BSB commitments that clash with Estoril and Le Mans, so we need to wait a while before any decisions for those races are made.”

“Thanks to all Álvaro’s and the team’s well-wishers, we greatly appreciate it and we will do everything we can to recover quickly from this situation.”

Source: Rizla Suzuki