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Hacking to race in USGP

‘The Hacker’ to race for injured Hopkins

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 10, 2008
AMA Superbike racer Jamie Hacking will substitute for the injured John Hopkins at the U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca.

Hacking, a British-born U.S. citizen on Kawasaki’s AMA Superbike factory team, will make his MotoGP debut at the July 20 race on the Monterey, Calif. track. He will replace Hopkins, who is recovering from surgery to repair injuries suffered in a crash during qualifying for the June 28 Assen race.

Kawasaki arranged for Hacking to test out its Ninja ZX-RR bike at the team’s Autopolis circuit in Japan to prepare for Laguna Seca. Hacking set a new lap record during his two days of testing on the Ninja ZX-RR.

“It’s an amazing machine,” says Hacking, 37. “I can’t believe how sophisticated the electronics package is on the bike; already it feels like you can open the gas impossibly early out of the turns, but the data shows that it's actually possible to open the throttle even earlier. To do this requires some confidence in the electronics, and that confidence will only come with more track time on the bike.”

Veteran racer Jamie ‘The Hacker’ Hacking was the 1998 AMA Superbike Rookie of the Year.Kawasaki competition manager Michael Bartholemy says that Hacking was chosen to replace Hopkins based on his performance in the AMA Superbike series where he sits fourth in the standings after reaching the podium in the last six races.

“Given his results in this year’s AMA Superbike championship, Jamie was the obvious choice for Kawasaki when the factory started looking for a temporary replacement for John Hopkins,” says Bartholemy. “One big advantage that Jamie has is that he knows the track extremely well, and I think that will count in his favor, as it will allow him to focus completely on the bike during the race weekend.”

Other racers thought to have been considered to fill in for Hopkins include Chaz Davies, who races for Kawasaki in the AMA Formula Xtreme and Supersport championships, and Hacking’s Superbike teammate Roger Lee Hayden.

Though he was born in Oswaldtwistle, England, Jamie Hacking became an American citizen after moving to Spartansburg, SC, at the age of nine.Hayden, the younger brother of Repsol Honda rider and 2006 MotoGP champion Nicky Hayden, competed in the 2007 U.S. Grand Prix as a wildcard entry for Kawasaki, leading all Americans in that race by finishing tenth.

“Roger Lee set the benchmark at this race last year with an outstanding tenth place finish, so that’s certainly given me something to aim for,” says Hacking. “Laguna is one of my best tracks, but I’m under no illusions how hard it’s going to be. I'll be up against some of the best riders in the world on a bike on which I’ve only had limited testing time. If I come away from the weekend with a top ten finish, then I’ll be happy.”

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