John Hopkins to World Superbike with Crescent Suzuki

11/21/2011 @ 12:23 pm, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

With the news that Crescent Suzuki would make a move from the British Superbike Championship, and enter into the World Superbike Championship, all eyes have been on whom the British team would field as riders. Anglo-American John Hopkins was heavily favored to be the still-unannounced teammate to Leon Camier on the squad, provided the former-MotoGP racer didn’t find his way back into the premier class. With Suzuki withdrawing from MotoGP last week and effectively ending Hopper’s 2012 MotoGP bid, Crescent Suzuki has now confirmed that Hopkins will make his return to World Superbike racing with the all-British team.

While surely not the ride Hopkins had at the top of his wish list, Hopper’s return to World Superbike marks the California native’s recovery and return to racing form, after more than a few tumultuous seasons. Moving from MotoGP to World Superbike and then AMA Pro Racing, Hopper’s return back to the US culminated with the falling out between him John Ulrich, the man often credited with discovering the talented American rider. After a lackluster season in the AMA, Hopkins moved across the pond where he found his old racing form.

Narrowly losing the British Superbike Championship, and having several wild card attempts in WSBK and MotoGP, Hopkins showed that he was overcoming not only his physical but mental demons, and was eager to reclaim his top-rider status in a world venue. Heavily rumored to several MotoGP rides, Hopkins is staying loyal to the Crescent Racing squad, and will continue his path back to MotoGP by competing in the 2012 World Superbike Championship.

“I am really happy to be joining up with the Crescent guys again. We had a great year in British Superbike and I’m sure we can continue that in WSB,” said Hopkins. “I wanted to get back into world championship racing and this is a natural progression from last year. The difference this time is that I will be going to tracks that I already know and have some reference from, so that should make some things a bit easier.”

“I know it’s going to be a big step, but with some big technical advances and Yoshimura on board, I’m sure the bike will be fully competitive. It will be great to work with Lez Pearson again, as we built up a strong relationship and his understanding of the way the bike works will be invaluable next year. I’m also looking forward to riding with Leon. I’m sure he’ll be strong next year and will be a difficult teammate to beat and also one who will push me to the limit.”

“I want to say thanks to Paul, Martyn, Jack and everyone at Crescent Suzuki for believing in me and giving me this opportunity,” Hopper continued. “I can’t wait to get on the bike and see what we can do. I know it’s not going to be an easy task by any means, but I have every intention of going out and trying to earn my first ever world championship for myself and the team. I’ll be doing everything in my power to make it happen.”

Source/Photo: Suzuki

  • Billy B.Tso

    good news there is a ride for him…although sorry to get off track, but why the two earings?…i don’t get it…unshaven, with a pearly white grin & earings, he’s looking like an ‘alternative’ pirate….

  • Halfie 30

    Go on Hopper. Good to see him riding for the love and not the money!

  • Pops559

    Give ’em hell Hopper… CA all day!

  • SBPilot

    He expressed his desire to get back into GP racing, he really shoulda taken that LCR ride. But none the less really happy to see him in WSBK and even happier to see a top team like Crescent Suzuki.

    On the other hand I am a bit worried about the Yoshimura partnership. It’s already evident that Crescent can build a bike competitive enough to run in WSBK. Why take such a big risk and partner with Yosh for the engines? Their bike has been far from competitive in the wild cards they ran…

    IMO Crescent should have just run their team and built their own engines, I hope this partnership does make them stronger though…bit of a gamble.

  • raymond17

    Woo-Hoo!!!! Go John!

  • Guzzigray

    There’s some big nashers right there…….

  • Beary

    Hopper was, and is a great rider has made a great fist of re-inventing himself… hope he does good things in WSBK.

  • Damo

    WSBK is shaping up to be THE class to watch next year. I am wicked excited to see Hopper on the grid.

    It will be nice to him race at the world stage on tracks he is used to again. He did so well in BSB on completely foreign tracks.


    Yoshi has proved they can make fast engines and Crescent have proved they setup a race bike, so where is the risk? Yoshi is only providing the lumps. With talent like Hopper and Camier on the team, I can only be excited.

    There are going to be alot of guys that can win on the grid next year. February 26th can’t come soon enough!


    I still can’t believe he thought he could get a decent Moto GP ride. Honestly, take a look at his career statistics, not to mention recent history (crash, crash, crash, etc…) No factory can take a chance with him on a GP bike; there are much younger, healthier, faster riders to choose from. Hopkins is to the point where each crash means extra time off the bike and more time to recover. I hate to say it but his days as a premier class rider are over.

    I am glad he has a superbike ride. I question his durability and if he can make it through the whole racing schedule w/out having to take time off to recover from injuries.

  • Kevin – did you miss the part of this season where he raced a full BSB schedule (bar one round due to MotoGP-induced injury) and narrowly missed out on the title?

  • steveo

    Or the fact that he poled on a WSBK race as a wild card. Or that he actually wild Carded 3 gp Races and did an admirable job on the suzuki which had a best finish of 4th? I was pretty sick of Hopper when he screwed up at Stiggy, and at Team Hammer but I am thrilled he is back on the right side of living and hoping for the best.

    I heard him talk at Seca 2 yrs ago and he was sounding much more upbeat compared to where he was 2 yrs before that when Kawasaki Pulled the plug, The Sad part is that even though Kawa was out of GP they made him keep his contract till the end therefore drying up any decent rides. Then he tried to out ride the Stiggy and crashed. Where he then drank and goofed off at the WSBK events and pretty much was banished from teh Paddock. Even Denning said he sure looked like a loser.

    Just ot remind everyone he gave all of his 400K sponsorship to team hammer 2 yrs ago and paid to ride at Crescent this season.


    OK, he got 2nd place in BSB this year…. what else has he done? He poled at a WSBK race but what happened in the actual race? He “wild carded” 3 moto gp races but once again…. how did he finish… or did he even finish?

    In his Moto GP career he has 0 victories, 1 2nd, and 3 3rd place finishes…. that’s it! And he thinks he should be riding for a top flight Moto GP Factory Program? Would you really put him in the same class as Stoner, Pedroza, Lorenzo, Spies, Rossi, Dovizioso , even Hayden?

    I am not denying that he has talent, just making the obvious point that he cannot stay off the ground and when he does crash it leads to more injuries, longer time to heal, etc. I wish him well in WSBK and hope he does not have the same problems he has had in the past.

    If you were sponsoring a team would you take John Hopkins and his “history” over a younger rider with more upside?

  • Kawafreak1209

    Hey Hoppa………..i have a huge amount of respect for your grit and determination but for goodness sake please loose the earrings……they look like something designed to hold your head in place with wires……