Things were looking good for John Hopkins heading into Saturday’s third and final MotoGP practice session at Brno.
The Wildcard Rizla Suzuki rider posted times within the top 10 on Friday, showing his competitive edge in MotoGP, a series he competed in from 2002-2008.
But when Hopkins, who currently competes in British Superbike with Samsung Crescent Suzuuki, crashed at a wet turn three during Free Practice 3 Saturday morning, he fractured his third and second fingers on his right hand.
The American Hopkins will now miss the Brno MotoGP. John “Hopper” Hopkins will now return to America for operations on the injured hand, ensuring he’ll be fit to return to the British Superbike Championship later this month.
Paul Denning (Rizla Suzuki Team Manager) says: “This morning’s injury is a huge disappointment to all of us at Rizla Suzuki and of course mostly to John Hopkins. He is completely devastated that he is not able to compete in the Grand Prix tomorrow, especially as his form yesterday was extremely promising.
“Hopkins was just building up to speed very gradually in the wet conditions and, on the first lap that he tried to push a little bit harder, he made a simple mistake and folded the front. It was on exactly the same corner that Casey had done the same thing at the start of the session, but John was just less lucky and as he entered the gravel trap the angle of his hand meant that the impact folded his fingers.
“This caused a substantial break to one finger and further damage to another. If the injury had been his left hand he would be on the GSV-R this afternoon, but to control a MotoGP bike and expect to be competitive with that injury to his throttle and braking hand is completely unrealistic.
“From the team, thanks to John for being so professional and a pleasure to work with this weekend. It was also great to have a two-rider team again and all the clear advantages that it brings. Despite what happened this morning I believe everybody in MotoGP was impressed with the potential shown here in Brno by Hopkins. I have no doubt that we will see him on a Grand Prix bike again in the near future.”