John Hopkins was devastated after complications with his injured finger forced him to withdraw from the Malaysian Grand Prix on Saturday morning. The American dislocated the third finger on his right hand on his last MotoGP appearance at Brno and has been battling with it ever since, but the finger has re-broken at the knuckle after Friday practice.
Hopkins will stay with the Rizla Suzuki team for the rest of the weekend before returning to America for further surgery and the 28 year old admits he had no option but to pull out.
“I knew my hand was sore after yesterday afternoon, because it was hurting when I was riding. It is definitely a lot more painful riding a MotoGP bike than it was the British Superbike, mainly due to the immense braking forces on the GSV-R. I woke up just before six this morning and I had quite a bit of pain so I tried to loosen it up and bend it, but that wasn't an option. The screws and the plates in the finger have come apart and there's just no movement in the knuckle at all, so I cannot bend the finger. If I get any further damage to the injury it could result in amputation and certainly don't want that! My Doctor is totally confident that he can fix it, but I just haven't been able to rest it and give it the proper time needed to repair it over the last six weeks. I thought it would be fine to ride this weekend and had every hope of it working, but I didn't expect the amount of force that goes into riding a GP bike would cause such a problem.
“I am so sorry for the team and Rizla Suzuki, because they have given me such a great opportunity again and now I can't ride past the Friday – it's heartbreaking and I can't express my disappointment. It's such a shame and I couldn't be more upset, but the priority now is to get it fixed and get myself ready for the 2012 season.”
Team Manager Paul Denning was equally disappointed for Hopkins but praised him for his performances in MotoGP and at home in the British Superbike Championship this year.
“Words can't really express the disappointment that whole team feels at John's bad luck. It would have been special to have two Rizla Suzukis in the race tomorrow, but we can't change the situation. John requires urgent surgery and lots of rest to get his finger properly repaired and fully operational again. He's had some bad luck, but he should be proud of everything he has achieved in 2011.”