John Hopkins unsure of 2009 prospects

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American John Hopkins has admitted he has no idea what his immediate future holds following the recent withdrawal of Kawasaki’s official factory team from MotoGP.

The 25-year-old has been left without a ride following Kawasaki’s decision to quit MotoGP with immediate effect, and he’s no idea whether he will be racing at all in 2009.

Hopkins had a year to run on his contract but is facing an uncertain future as Kawasaki’s move made the Japanese factory the first major MotoGP casualty of the global economic crisis.

Speaking exclusively to MCN, Hopkins said: “Right now MotoGP is the ultimate goal and I’m 100 per cent focused on getting a ride. The managers are pushing on that and doing what we can.

"Right now I still have a contract with Kawasaki. It hasn’t been terminated by them pulling out and I have no clue what is going to happen and I don’t know what the next step is.

"The economic situation is pretty bad for everybody right now. It’s not just in F1 and car racing, and it sucks for the sport and it is bad news because already there are not enough riders on the grid.

"All I can do is hope the right cards fall into place so I can continue in MotoGP.”

Although a rescue package for Kawasaki seems the only feasible option for Hopkins to start the season in Qatar in April, he has been buoyed by the efforts of Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta to find a solution where the two redundant ZX-RR machines continue to race.

“That can only be encouraging for me but nothing is set in stone, so everything is still up in the air.

"Unfortunately I have no idea what the plans are, “said Hopkins, who like Marco Melandri has expressed no interest in salvaging his career in the World Superbike series.

He is also reluctant to compete on a Kawasaki in the American superbike series.
See a full interview with Hopkins in tomorrow’s MCN out Wednesday, January 14.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt