Stiggy Honda boss Johan Stigefelt reckons the capture of high profile American John Hopkins is like a ‘dream’ for the WSB squad.
Hopkins will join British rider Leon Haslam for the rest of the 2009 WSB season and he will make his competitive debut for the Stiggy squad in Valencia on April 5.
The signing of Hopkins, who scored four podiums in his MotoGP career, was like a ‘dream come true’ said former 250GP rider Stigefelt.
The 25-year-old was a free agent having recently reached a settlement with Kawasaki, who he was due to ride for before the Japanese factory quit MotoGP in early January because of the global economic crisis.
The Swede said: “To be able to have John in our team is like a dream come true for all of us. It will put more pressure on our performance, but Leon, his crew and the whole team have done a great job so far and I am confident we can give John a good bike and a good structure. Being a new team, everything is new to us and so we must learn each track as we go along. With no previous data to work with, we are mainly developing the bike during race weekends and sometimes it can take a whole weekend to find the right settings. Our intention is to be the best Honda out there and beat as many factory teams as possible. It will be difficult but, seeing what we have achieved already and the experience we are gaining every day, I am confident we can compete at the top.”
Hopkins’ arrival has meant experienced Italian Roberto Rolfo leaving the Stiggy Honda squad with immediate affect.