Hopkins ‘in awe’ of Moto Rapido Panigale

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Returning MCE British Superbike racer John Hopkins says he’s been left ‘in awe’ after his first taste of the Moto Rapido Ducati Panigale he will contest at next weekend’s Brands Hatch round of the championship.

Returning to action for the first time since the 2014 season finale, he took to the Indy circuit at Brands during the lunch hour of an MSV track day in order to get some time on the bike – and was instantly blown away.

“You don’t forget how to ride; it’s just a matter of blowing the cobwebs off. I was more nervous of the fact that I’ve never ridden a Ducati before, in my entire career. Even that firing order I’ve never touched!

I was worried about getting used to the engine, and so forth – but I was shocked. I’m in awe to I felt on the bike immediately – and we didn’t touch a single setting on it. The bike just felt right at home from the start.

"I have absolutely loved being on circuit today at Brands Hatch for our first test, it has been a really, really good day. We have had some great weather and put in a number of laps just to get comfortable as I haven't ridden a race bike in about six months.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer