John Hopkins gets much-needed boost

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After a difficult race weekend in Misano, John Hopkins got a much-needed boost in testing yesterday as he made progress with the Bridgestone front tyre used by Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi to win ten races in 2008.

Hopkins was last in Sunday’s 28-lap after he missed one day of practice as rumours circulated about personal problems.

But Hopkins made some progress on his Kawasaki ZX-RR and said: “We had a lot of work to do as I've missed so much time on track recently.

"Our focus was mainly on the front-end of the machine, and we have refined our setting from this weekend by changing the way the chassis is set up. We also started work on using a Bridgestone front tyre option that both Valentino and Casey use.

"This meant we had to alter the bike a lot, but we are now the only team using the old type of tyre, basically because we've not had any chance to test. This new specification tyre is definitely the future for us, but unfortunately it can't be in my allocation until we're completely happy with the way the machine handles with it.

"I'm pleased with the results of the test, but we still have a lot of catching up to do with the upgraded bike. I'm really excited about Indianapolis, particularly as it's my home round, and we'll be looking to achieve strong results there."

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt