Hopkins done for the season

Another in a series of setbacks for the Hopper

By Motorcycle.com Staff, Sep. 14, 2009
2009 may turn out to be a year that racer John Hopkins would like to forget.

The Ramona, Calif. native will miss the rest of the World Superbike season due to injuries suffered in a crash at a Sept. 6 race at Nurburgring, Germany. Hopkins lost consciousness for ten minutes after crashing and being run over by Vittorio Iannuzzo on the opening lap of Race One.

According to a message left on Hopkins’ website by his wife Ashleigh, the Stiggy Honda racer had some bruising to the back of his brain, but the bleeding had stopped. Hopkins underwent surgery for some less serious injuries but will be out of action for at least eight weeks.

“All the injuries I sustained over the past year and a half have made it difficult for me to get into a constant training regime, and have left me with a mental disadvantage going into recent races,” says Hopkins. “I wish my team all success for the remaining three rounds.”

The year started with Hopkins losing his MotoGP rider when former employer Kawasaki withdrew from Grand Prix competition. When Kawasaki resurfaced as the non-factory supported Hayate Racing Team, Hopkins was left hanging as Marco Melandri was given the reins to the Ninja ZX-RR.

Hopkins eventually landed with the Stiggy Honda WSBK team, debuting in the April 5 round in Valencia, Spain where he finished a respectable 11th and 12th in the two races. At the subsequent round in Assen, Netherlands, however, Hopkins high-sided during free practice, dislocating his hip and breaking a leg. The injuries forced Hopkins to miss five rounds including the Utah round at Miller Motorsports Park.

Hopkins turned at the Donington Park round June 28 with a strong eighth place result in Race One but the lingering injuries kept him out of Race Two. Hopkins competed in both races in the following round in Brno, Czech Republic, but crashed out of the first race and retired from the second due to technical problems.

Overall, Hopkins started 2009 with a factory contract in MotoGP and barring a comeback in Portugal, ends with three WSBK race finishes and serious injuries from two separate crashes.

The Stiggy Racing Honda Team has chosen not to field a substitute rider, which will leave Leon Haslam - who currently sits sixth in the rankings - as the team’s sole competitor for the remaining three rounds in the World Superbike Championship.

Related Reading
Hopkins undergoes hip surgery
Hopkins joins Stiggy Honda WSBK team
Kawasaki returns to MotoGP
Kawasaki announces MotoGP pull-out