Hopkins backs Rossi and Pedrosa for title scrap

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American John Hopkins has backed MotoGP rivals Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa to be the two main contenders for the 2007 premier class world championship crown.

The Yamaha and Honda rivals are the only two riders so far this season to have finished on the podium in the opening two rounds in Qatar and Jerez. And Hopkins said he expected the two to continue to be the main protagonists for the rest of the season.

The Rizla Suzuki rider, who crashed out of fourth place in the Spanish GP at Jerez last month, said: “I think there will be different players at different races but I see Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa as being the ones consistently at the front.

“There will be races where Loris (Capirossi) will be at the front, Casey (Stoner) will struggle at some places and have some places where he is really going to shine, so as far as consistency goes it is definitely going to be between Rossi and Pedrosa.”

But echoing the sentiments of Rossi, Hopkins said he was anxious about forthcoming races like Shanghai, Mugello and Catalunya where Ducati will be able to utilise its huge top speed advantage with the new GP7 800.

“There’s going to be tracks where I know for a fact that Stoner and Capirossi will be really, really tough to beat, “added Hopkins.


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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt