John Hopkins to announce 2009 plans

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American John Hopkins is expected to announce his racing plans for the 2009 season tomorrow (Friday).

Frozen out after Kawasaki’s shock decision to quit MotoGP in early January because of the global economic crisis, the Californian is expected to confirm he has signed a deal to join the Stiggy Honda squad in World Superbikes, as was exclusively revealed by MCN in December.

Rumours started circulating again during last weekend’s Qatar WSB clash about the Hopkins deal, as was reported in yesterday’s (Wednesday) MCN.

Swede Johan Stigefelt has declined to comment on the Hopkins deal, but the 25-year-old is now a free agent having successfully negotiated a settlement with Kawasaki.

The former factory Suzuki rider was contracted to race a ZX-RR in 2009 with Marco Melandri before Kawasaki quit.

Hopkins’ first race on a FireBlade could come as soon Valencia on April 5 where he is expected to join British rider Leon Haslam and experienced Italian Roberto Rolfo.

Hopkins’ anticipated WSB move would add further spice to an already fascinating 2009 series which has seen fellow American Ben Spies winning three of his first four races on Yamaha’s new R1.

Can John Hopkins get his career back on track in WSB? Post a comment below.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt