Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
---------------
---------------
CHOOSE A SPORT
RELATED BBC SITES
Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 19:10 GMT 20:10 UK
Kawasaki sign Hopkins from Suzuki
John Hopkins
Hopkins lies fourth in the 2007 world standings
John Hopkins has signed a two-year deal with the Kawasaki MotoGP team, starting next year, after quitting Suzuki.

The 24-year-old, who is fourth in the championship standings, earned the first podium place of his career in May when he finished third in China.

"We've had our eye on him for some time," said Kawasaki team manager Michael Bartholemy.

"A year ago we weren't in a position to attract a rider of his calibre, but the situation is very different now."

We'd have been very, very happy to continue with John, we are disappointed he is leaving

Suzuki's Paul Denning

Bartholemy also said he hoped to sign a more experienced rider to line up alongside Hopkins, with Ducati's Loris Capirossi being tipped to make the move.

"We have proved that Kawasaki has a professional set-up and a competitive package which is why we now have the option of also signing a proven MotoGP race winner to ride alongside John next season," he said.

Suzuki team chief Paul Denning said it was "disappointing" to lose Californian rider Hopkins.

"There are reasons for that other than performance," he said.

"I think there are commercial reasons but it's not really our job to be concerned about that.

SPORT EDITORS' BLOG
Motorsport producer
Belinda Rogerson

"We'd have been very, very happy to continue with John, we are disappointed he is leaving but you have to look at it as an opportunity rather than a problem."

Denning warned off any rivals who may be looking at signing Suzuki's remaining rider, Chris Vermeulen, saying their intention to re-sign the Australian was "very, very clear."

SEE ALSO
West seals ride as Jacque quits
21 Jun 07 |  Motorbikes
Stoner powers to Shanghai victory
06 May 07 |  Motorbikes


RELATED BBC LINKS:

RELATED INTERNET LINKS:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC PRODUCTS AND SERVICES
Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us