Hopkins to extend BSB return to Thruxton

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John Hopkins will extend his BSB return until at least the next round of the series at Thruxton, as the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team’s full time rider Jakub Smrz continues to recover from the broken thumb sustained at Snetterton a month ago.

Breaking bones that required surgery in the Saturday crash at the Norfolk track, the Czech rider’s return to full fitness in only six weeks was a doubt from day one, and with the strong form shown by Hopkins at Brands Hatch last weekend, the team have an ideal temporary substitute.

And with the risk of further – and more severe – damage to Smrz’s hand should he sustain another injury to it before the healing process has completed, team boss Steve Moore says that the decision, while tough, was also straightforward.

“After speaking with Jakub and his medical team today the risk for him riding with such an injury is too high to take. Whilst his hand feels strong now any further damage would cause huge complications for him. So for our local round at Thruxton John will continue on the Ducati. The plan past Thruxton will be finalised soon - we are exploring options now and wish Kuba a strong recovery.”

However, despite the assurances that the substation is only temporary, it is set to set rumours alight that Hopkins will remain for the rest of the season in one way or another, after securing the Panigale’s best ever result with a sixth at Brands before he was forced to retire from race two with a clutch problem.

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer