Assen MotoGP: John Hopkins facing injury lay-off

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John Hopkins’ factory Kawasaki nightmare continued in Assen today, with the American ruled out of tomorrow’s Dutch MotoGP after a high-speed qualifying crash.

The American, just recovering from a fractured fourth vertabrea in his back, broke his left ankle in a tumble at the fast Ramshoek left-hander.

He has also broken the tibia bone in his left leg and suffered compression injuries to his left knee after he slammed into trackside advertising banners. He suffered extensive lower limb injuries having hit the banners feet first.

The tibia is expected to take nearly three weeks to heal without an operation and Hopkins is to fly home to Los Angeles tomorrow where he will undergo further examination and treatment with Dr Art Ting.

Once a full assessment has been carried out a decision will be taken on whether Hopkins can return to action in the German MotoGP at the Sachsenring next month.

If he misses the Sachsenring clash, he will also be a major doubt for his home race at Laguna Seca just a week later on July 20.

Today’s crash completes a horrendous run for Hopkins, who has suffered three mechanical failures on his factory ZX-RR in the last four races.

Team boss Michael Bartholemy said: “John’s crash may affect the next two races, which is a real disappointment. The injuries to his ankle were not caused by the fall itself, but the collision with the unprotected wall.

“He will now return to America for treatment and we’ll make a decision on the Sachsenring once we know the extent of his injuries.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt