John Hopkins targets Haslam and the podium

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WSB rookie John Hopkins remains confident he can become a front runner during the season onboard the Stiggy Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade.

Hopkins claimed 11th and 12th in the two races despite a fuelling problem and ran as high as sixth in the second Superbike race of the day.

The American had to reacquaint himself to fighting for position on virtually every lap of the race and was involved in an exciting battle with Max Biaggi, Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane Byrne in both races.

Speaking to MCN he said:

“Trying to get used the tyre going off has been a really big experience for me. We’re also experiencing a fuel problem right now, it has a limiter on it and when it gets close it starts to cut out.

“That started with three laps to go and with three to go I had a group behind me and they all passed me. The problem is something we’ll get worked out for the future.”

The former Kawasaki MotoGP man left Valencia satisfied, but is under no illusion just how competitive the racing is going to be in his new WSB career.

“The whole weekend has been a great experience. The Superbike field is so close and if you are 2 or 3/10th of the pace you’re down in 10th or 15th position.

“My goal this year is to use the first few races as a learning experience. My plan and my expectations are to still be racing at the pointy end of the field by the time the season is out.

“I have strong confidence and we had a great race with Biaggi and Byrne. My team-mate Leon rode a fantastic race so that has certainly set the standard.

“First I’ve got to chase him down and then work on the rest of the field.”