2012 World Superbike
The news out of the Crescent Suzuki World Superbike squad keeps arriving. Shortly after announcing its entry into 2012 World SBK, the UK-based team announced that former Alitalia Aprilia’s Leon Camier would pilot on GSX-R1000.
Then last week, the team announced that Yoshimura will be on board, developing and supplying engines. But it was still unknown who would be the other WSBK rider, although many were assuming a certain American, John Hopkins.
And on Saturday, these assumptions were proven true, Crescent Suzuki confirming that Hopkins will pilot the other Suzuki GSX-R 1000 for 2012.
Hopkins has plenty of experience, from MotoGP to AMA Superbike to his latest feat in 2011 British Superbike. During 2011 BSB, Hopkins competed on the Crescent Suzuki, finishing second overall in the championship.
Hopkins’ last experience in World Superbike came at Silverstone in July when he raced as a Wildcard entry. He placed the Crescent Suzuki on the pole, and finished 5-7 on raceday. His latest MotoGP outing arrived at Brno, but after crashing he underwent surgery on his fingers and is currently recovering.
His teammate will begin testing the Crescent Suzuki Powered by Yoshimura at Portimao later this month, but due to recovery, Hopkins won’t begin testing until early 2012. The riders first outing in 2012 World Superbike will be at Phillip Island, Australia, Feb. 26.
John Hopkins (Crescent Suzuki GSX-R 1000) says: “I am really happy to be joining up with the Crescent guys again. We had a great year in British Superbike and I’m sure we can continue that in WSB. I wanted to get back into world championship racing and this is a natural progression from last year. The difference this time is that I will be going to tracks that I already know and have some reference from, so that should make some things a bit easier.
“I know it’s going to be a big step, but with some big technical advances and Yoshimura on board, I’m sure the bike will be fully competitive. It will be great to work with Lez Pearson again, as we built up a strong relationship and his understanding of the way the bike works will be invaluable next year.
“I’m also looking forward to riding with Leon. I’m sure he’ll be strong next year and will be a difficult team-mate to beat and also one who will push me to the limit.
“I want to say thanks to Paul, Martyn, Jack and everyone at Crescent Suzuki for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I can’t wait to get on the bike and see what we can do. I know it’s not going to be an easy task by any means, but I have every intention of going out and trying to earn my first ever world championship for myself and the team. I’ll be doing everything in my power to make it happen.”
Jack Valentine (Crescent Suzuki Team Manager) says: “It’s great to have John back onboard for next year and a real boost for the whole team that he has chosen to ride for us. He is a class act, not only for Crescent Suzuki, but for the whole Superbike series as well. The crowds will love him.
“I enjoyed working with him this year and, although he rode in the last three events with a severely injured finger, he only just missed out on the championship. That is history now and I look forward to continuing the relationship and building on what we achieved this year. I’m sure with what he learnt in BSB, and his experience on the tracks we will visit next year, that he will be able to get some spectacular results.
“I know he’s really fired up for this and I’m looking forward to some exciting times. I cannot wait to see him and Leon out there next year.”