John Hopkins suffered a severe head trauma when he came down in a horrific way on the opening lap of the first superbike race at the Nurburgring. Initial scans in the local hospital showed no serious injuries, but further examination in the United States revealed that John had suffered a severe head trauma, as well as wrist, shoulder and hip injuries.
John Hopkins has successfully undergone surgery in the United States, but will be forced out of action for at least eight weeks, which brings a premature end to the unfortunate American’s first season in the World Superbike Championship.
After the long break in the team’s superb maiden Superbike season, Leon Haslam heads into the eleventh round of the championship holding a sixth place in the standings, while John Hopkins is fighting back from his current 20th position following an injury plagued start of the season.
The Stiggy Racing Honda pairing of Leon Haslam and John Hopkins are heading to Brno in full confidence for the tenth round of the Superbike World Championship, after concluding a successful two-day test at the flowing track in the Czech Republic two weeks ago.
The Stiggy Racing Honda Superbike pairing of Leon Haslam and John Hopkins and their Supersport teammates Anthony West and Gianluca Vizziello successfully concluded the official two-day test at the Autodromo di Enzo e Dino Ferrari at Imola today.
The riders were able to make important progress in the development of their CBR1000RR machines as they tested new suspension components and other updated parts on the 4.9km long Italian track, which will host the 12th round of the World Superbike championship on September 25-27.
The British round in the Superbike World Championship will be a home race for Stiggy Racing Honda’s Leon Haslam as the famous Donington circuit, with its unpredictable weather conditions, is literally located in his back yard.
The only remaining British venue in the current World Superbike events list, is a favourite with many riders because of its combination of high speed straights and fast, flowing curves. The 4km long track – which dates back to 1931- has recently been surfaced and allows great grip in the dry, but could prove tricky if the damp British weather plays its tricks.
The blistering heat that dominated the opening day of qualifying at Misano, took a turn for the unexpected as wet conditions hovered over the track in the second series of qualifying today.
Having qualified safely for Superpole by posting the ninth fastest time in yesterday’s qualifying, Leon Haslam choose to remain in the garage for most of the session, and only ventured out on the wet track in the ultimate minutes to post the 11th fastest time on the board at the damp 4.226km long track.
Just six weeks after an unfortunate turn of faith at Assen left John Hopkins seriously injured, the ex MotoGP rider made his return with the Stiggy Racing squad, and set his first laps in hot conditions at the Misano track today.
John Hopkins-who has been performing successfully at the Italian track in recent years-struggled to find the flexibility in his left leg. Staggering off the bike after each painful session indicated the lack of muscle power build in his short period of recuperation, and proved the big absent in order to push the bike around the track.
The 2009 season has kicked-off in a glorious way for the Stiggy Racing Superbike squad in their debut year of World Superbike racing, with Leon Haslam taking an incredible third place on the rostrum in his maiden faring for the team at Phillip Island four months ago.
Fourteen races in, Haslam has achieved far more aboard his Stiggy Racing Honda than the team had anticipated at the start of the season, and established himself as the revelation of the series.