Hopkins signs with Team Hammer

FB Corse signs Garry McCoy

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 01, 2010
John Hopkins has officially signed with Team Hammer to race in the 2010 AMA American Superbike Championship, putting to end weeks of conflicting reports.

The former MotoGP rider had previously been linked to prospective Grand Prix team FB Corse but finally decided instead to return to AMA Road Racing and reunite with Team Hammer. Hopkins won the 2000 AMA 750cc Supersport and 2001 Formula Xtreme championships with Team Hammer, which raced as Valvoline Suzuki at the time.

Hopkins will bring his long-time sponsor, Monster Energy, with him to Team Hammer which will compete as M4 Monster Suzuki. Hopkins will ride the Suzuki GSX-R1000.

The John Hopkins off-season drama comes to a close with the racer returning to his former squad Team Hammer.

Im really excited to be working with the team and team owner John Ulrich again. We had a lot of success when I raced with them at the beginning of my career and Id like to thank Monster, M4 and all the rest of our sponsors for making it happen, says Hopkins. Im also happy to be back on a Suzuki motorcycle again. Im feeling healthier than I have in a long time. I think my fitness level is up there with the way it was in 2007 and Im looking forward to getting out there on the track and enjoying racing again.

Hopkins joined his new team for a test session at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., and he says he already feels comfortable on his new superbike.

I have the chance to ride the bike a little bit today at a Fastrack Riders track day at Fontana and Im really pleased. It is just a shakedown test but the bike feels really comfortable to me, says Hopkins. My goals are to learn the bike and the tracks, have a healthy season, perform to the best of my ability, and see where that leaves us in the championship. Im really happy to have a ride with a great team and be healthy again and Im looking forward to having a good season.

For 2010, Hopkins will form half of a two-pronged attack for Team Hammer, with Daytona Sportbike racer Martin Cardenas returning to the team for another campaign. Both riders have international racing experience and multiple AMA Road Racing victories.

 I have full confidence in John Hopkins and his abilities. I really enjoyed working with John before and Im really looking forward to working with him again, says Ulrich. There is no doubt in my mind that he knows how to ride a motorcycle and now aged 26 hes got seven years of Grand Prix experience under his belt. With seven AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike race wins in 2009, Martin Cardenas has already demonstrated the potential created by putting a great rider with Grand Prix experience on a competitive motorcycle built by the Team Hammer crew in Alabama, and were looking forward to creating the same situation with John.

I am proud to welcome John and his family back to the AMA Pro paddock and I am very excited to be fielding him in the AMA Pro Racing National Guard American Superbike Championship. With the combination of Martin Cardenas and John Hopkins on M4 Suzukis, we have an exciting opportunity to make great things happen in 2010.

Meanwhile, FB Corse introduced Australian racer Garry McCoy as its new rider. McCoy will step into role originally set aside for Hopkins to develop FB Corses prototype 800cc three-cylinder race bike, with hopes of competing in the MotoGP series in 2011. A former 500cc Grand Prix racer, McCoy has three wins in his premiere-class career. Most recently, McCoy raced in the World Supersport series for the BE1 Triumph factory team.

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