John Hopkins will return to MotoGP in three weeks time after Rizla Suzuki confirmed he will enter the Czech Republic Grand Prix on a second GSV-R as a wildcard.
The American is currently contesting the British Superbike Championship on a GSX-R1000 for the Samsung Crescent Racing team, sitting second in the standings behind Shane 'Shakey' Byrne, and has been granted permission to join Alvaro Bautista at Brno.
Hopkins will make his second MotoGP appearance of the year after standing in for Bautista at Jerez and is delighted to be returning at a track that has been kind to him in the past.
“It's a real thrill to get the opportunity to ride at Brno and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm very pleased that we have been able to achieve it because it is something we have been working on for a long time. To be honest it couldn't be at a better track for me either, I had my best result in my MotoGP career at that track and I'm really pumped that I am going there again.”
The Czech Republic Grand Prix will see Rizla Suzuki enter two bikes for the first time this year and Hopkins is looking forward to assisting the team as they look to close the gap on the front of the grid.
As far as the Suzuki goes, I think it's a great bike and the package is a lot better than when I last rode it in 2007. I think that in comparison to what I was able to do in Jerez, I believe I will be able to perform a lot better because back then I hadn't been on a bike in a competitive environment for six or seven months. I got thrown in at the deep-end in Spain, but this time I will have a lot more race-craft. It's also a huge benefit for me to be riding alongside Ãlvaro instead of riding in-place of him, so that will be really good, not just for me but for the whole team. With the two of us we can help develop the bike and share the extra data to get the best out of the GSV-R. It will be better to be riding with him in the team instead of replacing him, because nobody likes to see a rider injured and having more bikes on the grid is always better for everyone.”
“I really want to thank everyone at Suzuki for giving me this chance and my Samsung Crescent team back in England for letting me take the opportunity to go back to MotoGP – even if it is just for one ride at the moment!”
Team Manager Paul Denning is ecstatic to welcome Hopkins back into the fold and believes his experience will aid them in their continuing development.
“Everyone at Rizla Suzuki is looking forward to welcoming John back into the fold for the Brno Grand Prix. It is a track that the GSV-R has gone well at in the past, a track that John really enjoys and we'll be doing everything we can to give him a decent platform to get a good result. We also hope that John's MotoGP experience and data during the weekend will help us find a better solution for both riders and increase our performance overall.”