Injury plagues John Hopkins in Australia test

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American John Hopkins completed a successful but painful first day of testing in Australia today.

The factory Kawasaki rider is still struggling with injuries suffered in a massive 175mph practice crash during the Dutch GP in Assen back in June.

The 25-year-old needed a plate inserted in a broken left ankle but that proved a painful distraction for Hopkins on the opening day of a three-day session in Phillip Island today.

Hopkins said: “We ride a lot more during testing than we do on a race weekend, and that has caused me some problems today. The left knee and ankle I damaged in the crash at Assen has been really painful.

“Every time I change gear the tendons in my ankle rub across the metal plate that was inserted to fix the bones, and this causes the ankle to swell up a lot. My knee also kept locking out, especially on the left-hand corners, so I’m not in great physical shape.”

Veteran French test rider Olivier Jacque is also in Australia trying out some new parts ahead of the 2009 ZX-RR debut in Sepang, Malaysia next February.

He evaluated a new chassis and revised electronics and he said: “Today we’ve focussed on evaluating a new chassis with positive results. This morning I was able to match my lap times on the older bike very quickly, but I think that at this point we are only using around 80 per cent of the potential of the new chassis.

“We’re also working with a revised electronics package on the bike, which gives us more options for fine-tuning the power delivery characteristics, and again the initial results have been positive.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt