Hopper gets green light

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John Hopkins will race in the season's opening MotoGP clash in Qatar after the American passed a medical check this morning at the Losail International Circuit.
Hopkins though has rated his damaged right wrist, injured in a massive 120mph high-side at the Qatar IRTA test last month, as only 80 per cent fit.

The factory Rizla Suzuki rider said: "I had an MRI scan on the right wrist in Miami last week and it came back pretty clear. I just got to bite the lip and go racing. The pain level is still there a little bit and if I said I'd be racing without any pain I'd be lying, but its nothing I can't overcome. Once the adrenaline starts flowing I'll be fine."

Ruled out of the Jerez IRTA test with the injury, the American has been under-going intensive laser treatment to help his recovery, and he's been able to return to light training despite still suffering with a fractured left wrist and two broken toes on his right foot.

"The whole level of everything has got better. I can't go running with the toes and cycling is difficult and the only training I've done is swimming but that works every muscle in your body. These last four days and on the flight over I've been rubbing in some special creams to help. Yesterday (Tuesday) I was able to start doing push-ups under my own weight in the gym and that was first time. "

There have been no repercussions from that and everything feels good today," said Hopkins, who will undergo at least 90 minutes of daily treatment in the circuit medical centre to help with his right wrist.

The broken toes in his right foot shouldn't cause too much discomfort and he added: "If I really bend the toes I?ve got some serious pain and running is not an option but I can cycle in the gym. This morning I put my boots on and pressed the rear brake and its not too bad," said Hopkins, who is hoping to avoid having to pump himself full of pain-killers or need injections to fight off the pain.

He added: "If the worst comes to the worst and adrenaline isn't enough then we always got the option of pain-killing shot."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt