John Hopkins’ MotoGP return in doubt

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Hopes that John Hopkins will make a shock return to the MotoGP world championship in 2010 appear to be fading fast.

It has been rumoured for several weeks that Hopkins was poised to make a premier class return this season with the FB Corse squad, which planned a surprise entry in the 2010 series.

But reports in America suggest that the former factory Suzuki rider, who finished fourth in the 2007 MotoGP world championship, is now going to try and resurrect his career in the AMA superbike series.

Hopkins is scheduled to test a Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000 at the California Speedway on February 2-3, the same team with which he started his career with back in 1999.

The 26-year-old is understood to be in negotiations with Team M4 about a ride in 2010, a decade after he won the AMA 750cc Supersport crown for the squad. He also won the Formula Xtreme title in 2001 and ’02.

Hopkins’ career has been in free fall ever since he completed a big money but ill-fated move to Kawasaki for the 2008 MotoGP series.

He enjoyed his best MotoGP campaign in 2007 when he finished fourth behind Casey Stoner, Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa on a factory Suzuki GSV-R.

He moved to Kawasaki for ’08 but endured a torrid and injury-ravaged campaign.
Kawasaki’s shock decision to withdraw from MotoGP at the start of 2009 left the popular Californian without a ride.

And he tried unsuccessfully to get his career back on track with a move to the Stiggy Honda squad in World Superbikes, where he again suffered several major injury blows.

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt