John Hopkins will miss this weekend's bank holiday triple header at Cadwell Park as a result of the injuries he picked up while racing in MotoGP. The American was competing at Brno for Rizla Suzuki but crashed in the final free practice session, dislocating the third finger on his right hand.
Hopkins has been undergoing a tough physical regime as he looks to return to action but Samsung Crescent Racing Team Manager Jack Valentine admits this weekend has come too early for him.
“Unfortunately Hopper’s hand is not healed enough to race this weekend and while this is disappointing to us and the fans it is the right decision when we consider the upcoming Showdown phase of the Championship.”
“Hopper’s been in daily contact as he’s undergone intensive laser treatment and hyperbaric chamber sessions. He’s explained the external pins are expected to be removed on Wednesday, but of course the weekend is too soon after that for his hand to be sufficiently healed.”
“We will, we suspect, lose a few podium points to our rivals in the Showdown, but to race a Superbike at a track such as this when you don’t have 100% strength in your throttle and brake hand is simply too dangerous both to the rider and his competitors and would only stand to slow Hopper’s recovery from the injury.”
The team have also announced that they won't bring in a replacement rider, meaning Jon Kirkham will have their full support as he looks to join Hopkins in the championship showdown.
“The team will nonetheless be at very near full-strength as we look forward to giving Jon Kirkham additional resources for the weekend”, Valentine confirmed. “He’ll have two crew chiefs working for him as well as his regular crew of mechanics and we hope this will fast track his set-up, allowing him to get back to where he belongs; at the front of the field.”