Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s John Hopkins fought hard on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway to come away with a gritty ride to fifth in the day’s AMA Pro American Superbike final.
Despite suffering significant pain and having his physical performance hampered due to issues with his right wrist, the former MotoGP star put on a late-race charge aboard his GSX-R1000.
He raced from several seconds back to close on fourth position but ultimately fell less than a half-second short in his bid for the spot.
‘Hopper’ will undergo surgery to repair his wrist on Monday.
"The adrenaline kicked in with five laps to go and I did everything I could to finish fourth. It was a tough weekend and not what we wanted, but going into this weekend I hadn’t actually finished a race since Donington last year in World Superbike, which was last summer. I only finished three races all of last year, so it’s nice to get a pair of finishes under my belt this weekend to be honest."
"I’ve ridden with it broken for a bunch of years and I’ve had a number of issues with it over that time. There’s so much scar tissue bound up inside that, while at the beginning of the weekend it’s alright, the bones contract and retract and the scar tissue gets in the middle of it and it just locks up as the weekend goes on, especially at tracks like this with the chicanes and everything. When I go down the straightaway, the way I have to use the throttle is by rolling my hand.
"My bike was every bit good enough to be up front – I felt it was definitely all me that was holding us back this weekend. I’m having minor surgery on it and they’re just going to clean the scar tissue out. It’s only a five-day recovery, so we should be perfect for the next race weekend at Road Atlanta."
Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki and John Hopkins will next head to SBK Road Atlanta in Braselton, GA on April 16-18 for Round 3 of the 2010 AMA Pro Road Racing Superbike Championship.