John Hopkins to race in MotoGP and American superbikes?
John Hopkins could go from having no ride to two in 2010.
Hopkins’ representatives have informed MCN that he could make a shock MotoGP return this season riding for the Italian-based FB Corse squad.
But at the same time he could also return to his roots in the American domestic superbike series campaign a Suzuki GSX-R1000 for Team M4.
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 with its three-cylinder 800cc machine.
But that appeared doomed when it was revealed that Hopkins, who finished fourth in the 2007 MotoGP world championship, would test a Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000 at the California Speedway on February 2-3.
But in a further twist, Hopkins has not ruled out riding in the AMA series and MotoGP.
It is not clear whether he would campaign selected MotoGP races, with the Californian having to miss four races in Mugello, Sachsenring, Brno and Misano if he returned to racing in America.
But the 26-year-old’s manager Bob Moore told MCN: “If the FB bike is good he could do both series, but will follow what Monster wants him to do. There's a good chance that John will race both AMA superbike and MotoGP races.”
Hopkins apparently still wants to test the FB Corse machine, but as yet nothing has been finalised with a scheduled launch this week for FB delayed until next month.
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.