Brno WSB: Strong start to the weekend by Hopkins
American John Hopkins underlined his potential by claiming second position in the opening free practice session at Brno. Onboard the Stiggy Honda CBR1000RR, Hopkins made a significant set-up change to the bike and subsequently jumped to the front of the leader board in the dying minutes of the session.
Speaking to MCN, he said:
“To start with the bike felt horrendous because we had really bad chatter. This track is all about corner speed and at the end we rolled the dice, made a big change to the geometry of the front and that enabled me to hold good speed, which is crucial.
“I’ve told the team that if we can get rid of the chatter completely I can go two seconds a lap faster.”
Like Aprilia mounted Max Biaggi who topped the timesheets, Hopkins benefited from a test at Brno two weeks ago, but unlike Biaggi, Hopkins was on a open to the public track day which meant a lack of clear laps.
“When we were here for the test the track was so overcrowded and we’ve already gone a second faster.”
Hopkins pace is a welcome turnaround for the American who has been plagued by injury since arriving in WSB. In last weeks test at Imola the 26 year old was forced to miss the final session due to extreme pain from his broken Femur and at Donington three weeks ago he was forced to sit out of the second race.
“In the last week I’ve been able to do some good training and some good stretching. I went to Sachsenring for the MotoGP and cycled a few laps and right now I feel good, better than I’ve done all year. Now all I need is to get a good result.”