British Superbike: Hopkins to Crescent Suzuki
The Crescent British Superbike team is delighted to have secured the services of former MotoGP and American Superbike rider, the American star John Hopkins for the 2011 British Superbike Championship.
Hopkins will begin testing the Crescent GSX-R1000 Superbike at Cartagena, Spain, in early March.
Hopkins finished fourth in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship on a Suzuki and will be renewing a strong bond that was formed with Crescent during his time with the MotoGP team.
"Hopper" was born in Ramona, Calif., but regards himself as half-British because both of his parents originated from London. Hopkins has always been proud of his UK heritage and Superbike races with the Union Flag on his leathers.
The 27-year-old Superbike racer Hopkins is now back to full fitness following corrective wrist surgery last season to save his career, which was so successful, it enabled him to make a late-season comeback, also on a GSX-R, in the American Superbike Championship and secure podium finishes.
Crescent will make a separate announcement regarding the team’s title and secondary sponsors in due course.
John Hopkins (Crescent Suzuki Superbike) says: "I’m totally stoked about coming to Britain to race with Crescent in BSB, as this will feel a bit like coming home because I have so many friends and family over in the UK. I’m 100% fit now and this will give me a great a great chance to prove that I’m still able to be competitive at the highest level.
"I’ve always dreamed of winning the World Championship – that’s still my goal – and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to get that ambition back on track. I haven’t raced on many of the UK circuits, so that will be a big learning curve, but I’ll be able to get to grips with them quickly and hope to be on the pace as soon as possible.
"The Suzuki’s a great package, I know I can win races and obviously winning the title is the ultimate goal, so we’ll have to see what we can do! I would also like to thank Paul and all at Crescent for giving me this opportunity to race in the UK and plan to repay their faith in me with some great results for the team."
Jack Valentine (Crescent Suzuki Team Manager) says: "It’s fantastic that we have been able to get a guy of John Hopkins’ talent to sign for Crescent. He is a great rider and always exciting to watch, plus he’s tasted podium success in MotoGP, so he is certainly bringing great experience with him to the BSB grid.
"Hopkins is really focused on racing at the highest level and sees BSB as his stepping stone to get back to world level. The whole team is looking forward to working with John and we are all sure this is going to be a great adventure for all concerned."
Paul Denning (Crescent Suzuki Team Owner) says: "I’ve never been as excited about a BSB season as I am about 2011 – it’s great to keep the team together and to be working with Hopkins again is a real opportunity.
"This isn’t about money or politics for either of us – it’s about ambition and determination and John is putting everything he can into this. It’s been a tough couple of months for the BSB team, but the loyalty and support of so many partners and friends has been superb – we’re looking to repay them and I hope we add significantly to the excitement of the superb BSB series in 2011."
Pics show Hopkins in 2010 on M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000, courtesy of AMA Pro Racing