Pre-season test lap times aren’t a precise barometer for how the 2012 MotoGP Championship season will go, but Yamaha has to feel good about its results after this week’s testing at Malaysia’s Sepang circuit. Last February at Sepang, Honda riders were the talk of the preseason session, taking three of the top four lap times […]
Hopkins Signs with Crescent Suzuki WSBK Team
American John Hopkins has re-signed with U.K.-based Crescent Suzuki to compete in the 2012 World Superbike Championship.
Hopkins raced with Crescent Suzuki this season in the British Superbike Championship, posting an impressive 16 podium appearances including five wins to finish second in the series. His BSB success earned Hopkins wildcard rides in WSBK and MotoGP.
The Ramona, Calif., native was trying to earn a ticket back into MotoGP full time, having previously raced in the series for Suzuki and Kawasaki. Hopkins would have been a favorite to race with Rizla Suzuki (which incidentally happens to be managed by Crescent Suzuki owner Paul Denning) until the manufacturer decided to withdraw from MotoGP competition.
With the door to MotoGP closed, Hopkins’ move to WSBK with Crescent Suzuki was the obvious choice. Hopkins will race alongside former Aprilia Alitalia factory racer Leon Camier for Crescent Suzuki on Yoshimura-prepped Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbikes.
“I am really happy to be joining up with the Crescent guys again,” says Hopkins. “We had a great year in British Superbike and I’m sure we can continue that in WSB. I wanted to get back into world championship racing and this is a natural progression from last year. The difference this time is that I will be going to tracks that I already know and have some reference from, so that should make some things a bit easier.”