After a seven-year career...
After a seven-year career in MotoGP was cut by Kawasaki's abrupt pull-out at the end of the '08 season, Hopkins spent an injury-riddled season with the Stiggy Honda World Superbike team.
After a long career in 500cc Grand Prix/MotoGP that was cut off by Kawasaki’s abrupt pull-out from MotoGP in the winter of ’08, and then a season in World Superbike last year with the Stiggy Honda team that was riddled with injury (with the team folding at the end of the season due to the struggling economy), former AMA champion John Hopkins appears to be headed back to AMA superbike racing. According to a press release from the M4 Suzuki team, Hopkins is slated to ride the team’s American Superbike-spec GSX-R1000 at the upcoming Fontana AMA test in February, and is reportedly in negotiations to sign with the team for 2010.
From the Team M4 Suzuki press release:
Hopkins to test with Team M4 Suzuki at Fontana
Former AMA Formula Xtreme Champion and MotoGP star John Hopkins will test a GSX-R1000 Superbike at California Speedway on February 2-3, 2010. Team Hammer, which races as Team M4 Suzuki, is in negotiations to sign Hopkins to race the 2010 AMA Pro Racing American Superbike season for Team M4 Suzuki.
"We're excited about having the opportunity to test with a rider the caliber of
'Hopper' and about the possibility that he might race with us in 2010," said
Crew Chief Keith Perry. "It's been several years since the team worked with
John and we had a lot of success together the last time. John went on to have success in MotoGP and it's been nice to see him do well on the World
Championship scene. The team is hoping this test at Fontana will lay the groundwork for a successful partnership with Hopkins in anticipation of working together this upcoming season."
Hopkins, 26, won two AMA National Championships with Team Hammer, in 2000 and 2001, before beginning his World Championship career. Hopkins raced with Red Bull Yamaha before joining the factory Suzuki team, then moved to Kawasaki factory squad five years later. Last season, Hopkins raced with Stiggy Honda in World Superbike.