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Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Monday, 28 March 2011 18:57 UK

John Hopkins set for difficult MotoGP comeback in Jerez

Spanish MotoGP, Jerez 2-3 April
Saturday 2 April: Qualifying: 1150-1500, BBC Red Button/online. Sunday 3 April: 125cc and Moto2: 0950-1205, BBC Red Button/online. MotoGP live: 1230-1400, BBC Two/online


John Hopkins
Hopkins enjoyed success during his last spell with Suzuki

John Hopkins expects a testing time when he makes his return to MotoGP with Suzuki at this weekend's race in Jerez.

The American is a temporary replacement for Alvaro Bautista who broke his leg in final practice for last week's Qatar MotoGP.

"I'm under no illusions that this will be tough weekend for me," said Hopkins, 27, who rode for Suzuki in 2007.

"I've not been on a GP machine for a couple of years and it'll be a step up from what I have been riding recently."

Hopkins has fully recovered from a wrist injury that almost ended his career in 2010 and is currently in the middle of pre-season testing for the British Superbike Championship.

Suzuki were unable to replace Bautista, their sole rider, for the Qatar race and have turned to Hopkins who finished fourth in the championship for the team four years ago.

He finished the 2007 season with a flourish by taking a podium place in his final race in Valencia.

After leaving Suzuki he raced for Kawasaki in Moto GP until they withdrew from the competition before the start of the 2009 season.

I was shocked by what happened to Alvaro, especially after such good winter testing, and I really wish him a speedy and full recovery

John Hopkins

Hopkins said: "The bikes have moved on in the last three years, but when I rode the GSV-R during filming in Losail a few weeks ago, it seemed so familiar and I immediately had a good feeling, but that was at filming pace, so it's going to be a lot different at race pace."

He added: "I know the Jerez track well, so it's not like I need to learn a new circuit and I also know the team well so that that will help a lot."

Hopkins said he would be trying his hardest for a good result "and make sure that I don't disappoint anybody - myself included".

He continued: "I wanted the opportunity to get back on a MotoGP bike, but not under these circumstances. I was shocked by what happened to Alvaro, especially after such good winter testing, and I really wish him a speedy and full recovery."



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see also
Qatar GP hints at exciting season
25 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
Stoner takes opening win in Qatar
20 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
Hopkins to stand in for Bautista
19 Mar 11 |  MotoGP


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