John Hopkins lands Suzuki wild card for Brno MotoGP

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British Superbike title challenger John Hopkins has landed a wild card ride with Suzuki’s factory MotoGP squad for the Czech Republic round in Brno, as was revealed by MCN last month.

The American will join Alvaro Bautista on a second factory GSV-R machine in the Brno clash on August 14.

Hopkins scored his best ever MotoGP result at the Brno circuit when he claimed second place in the 2007 race. He went onto finish fourth in the final points standings that season before completing a disastrous switch to Kawasaki.

Hopkins has been negotiating the Brno wild card deal for weeks and turned down the chance to ride for the Gresini Honda squad to help clinch the deal.

He was approached by Honda to join Marco Simoncelli in the Gresini squad as potential cover for Hiroshi Aoyama, who has been seconded to the Repsol squad to replace injured Dani Pedrosa in Assen.

Suzuki is expected to confirm the deal during this weekend’s Dutch Grand Prix at Assen, which Hopkins will attend.

As well as the Brno appearance, Hopkins has targeted further factory Suzuki rides later in the campaign that don’t clash with his British Superbike commitments.

Hopkins has raced the 2011 GSV-R this year when he finished in a creditable tenth position in Jerez as replacement for injured Bautista.

Hopkins, who currently rides for the Samsung Crescent Suzuki squad in BSB, recently told MCN in an exclusive interview that he was hopeful of the Brno wild card coming off.

He said: “Right now I hope my loyalty and faith will pay off and be rewarded with a ride in Brno. I think taking one of those (Honda) rides might have damaged those chances. I do have an obligation to Suzuki and Crescent to fulfil my commitment 100 per cent to BSB.

“I’m sitting pretty well in the championship and it is a personal goal of mine right now to try and win that and give my best at that. The ultimate goal, and my whole purpose of coming to BSB, was to try and rebuild my career and get myself back into MotoGP.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt