Hopkins to Return at Imola World SBK


2012 World Superbike Championship

Trouble for the American John Hopkins began at last year’s Brno round of MotoGP. While riding as a wildcard entry for the now-defunct Rizla Suzuki, Hopkins crashed during practice, injuring his throttle hand’s middle finger.

The rider who signed with Crescent Suzuki for 2012 World SBK underwent multiple operations in 2011, but following further evaluation, doctors amputated the top of his injured finger in January.

Following the surgery, Hopkins would be fit to ride in the opening round of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Phillip Island in February, but then he broke his throttle hand during a crash while testing at the Australian track.

Due to surgery, he was forced to miss the season-opener. But the UK-based Crescent Suzuki World Superbike team confirmed Monday that Hopkins will compete at the second round of the WSBK Championship at Imola this weekend (March 30 – April 1).

Hopkins was in the UK this weekend, prepping for his debut on the #21 Yoshimura-powered Suzuki GSX-R 1000. In a press release from the team, Hopkins provides an update of his condition, and his preparedness for Imola World SBK.

John Hopkins (Crescent Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Superbike) says: “I am so pleased to get the all-clear and cannot wait to get on the bike again. I had been given strict instructions not to do any riding this week, which has been a bit frustrating, but I have occupied my time well with physiotherapy, training and numerous spells in the hyperbaric chamber. All of this has helped me to recover quickly and I have no doubt that I will be as fit as can be at Imola.

“It’s been very busy recently. On Tuesday, I was in the hyperbaric chamber and then drove three hours each way to see my nutrition doctor in Palm Springs. Before that I have really been putting in the hours on my mountain bike and also on the cardio machines in the gym.

“I am really happy with my hand, how well it has been healing; and the range of movement I have got. When I saw the doctor on Wednesday, he told me that the bone was fully healed and everything was OK and I could start riding again. I was hoping to get on my dirt bike before leaving for the UK but I have just sold my house and there’s loads of stuff to sort out, but I’ll try and fit in a ride somehow before Imola. I am really looking forward to catching up with everybody at Crescent Fixi Suzuki and getting back to the racetrack. I’ve missed it, but I feel ready and raring to go.”

Crescent Suzuki Team Manager also commented on Hopkins’ return.

Jack Valentine says: “Obviously we’re all delighted to have John back with us and it gives the whole team a boost. From what his doctor says, the hand should be more-or-less at full strength. I would like John to take the first day or so in Imola steadily, build up gradually and get race fit as soon as he can without any stress. I am looking forward to Imola and a positive weekend, with good, solid results.”

The Imola round of World Superbike gets underway with the first practice sessions Friday.