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John Hopkins to ride for Crescent Suzuki in World Superbikes

John Hopkins more or less knew he would be riding a Suzuki next season, but he didn’t know in which championship series, but the decision was made for him by the Hamamatsu manufacturer announced yesterday that they would ‘temporarily suspend’ (does anyone believe it they’ll be back?) their MotoGP activities for the next two seasons.

With Suzuki off the MotoGP grid, Hopkins has made the wise choice of renewing with Crescent Suzuki who is switching from British Superbikes to World Superbikes in 2012.
The Anglo American rider impressed not only in BSB, where he fell short by just two points in winning the title, while still recovering from a finger injury picked up during his MotoGP wildcard appearance at Brno.

The same injury is still causing him big problems and warranted further surgery earlier this month after a massive infection set in.
Hopkins had hopes to return to MotoGP either with Rizla Suzuki or LCR Honda, and was Lucio Cecchinello’s number one draft choice, but Honda/Dorna wanted Moto2 World Champion Stefan Bradl in MotoGP and Checchinello signed him, as he did when ‘they’ wanted Toni Elias back in MotoGP after winning the 2010 Moto 2 championship.

Crescent Suzuki will be fielding Leon Camier alongside Hopkins and since Suzuki looks like they will give no factory support (reason why Alstare Suzuki will no longer be in WSBKs) to the British team, they’ve turned to Yoshimura for engines and exhaust systems.
“I am really happy to be joining up with the Crescent guys again,” said 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.
I know it’s going to be a big step, but with some big technical advances and Yoshimura on board, I’m sure the bike will be fully competitive.
It will be great to work with Lez Pearson again, as we built up a strong relationship and his understanding of the way the bike works will be invaluable next year.
I’m also looking forward to riding with Leon.
I’m sure he’ll be strong next year and will be a difficult team-mate to beat and also one who will push me to the limit.
I want to say thanks to Paul, Martyn, Jack and everyone at Crescent Suzuki for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.
I can’t wait to get on the bike and see what we can do.
I know it’s not going to be an easy task by any means, but I have every intention of going out and trying to earn my first ever world championship for myself and the team.
I’ll be doing everything in my power to make it happen.
”“It’s great to have John back onboard for next year and a real boost for the whole team that he has chosen to ride for us.
He is a class act, not only for Crescent Suzuki, but for the whole Superbike series as well.
The crowds will love him.
I enjoyed working with him this year and, although he rode in the last three events with a severely injured finger, he only just missed out on the championship.
That is history now and I look forward to continuing the relationship and building on what we achieved this year.
I’m sure with what he learnt in BSB, and his experience on the tracks we will visit next year, that he will be able to get some spectacular results.
I know he’s really fired up for this and I’m looking forward to some exciting times.
I cannot wait to see him and Leon out there next year,” said Crescent Suzuki team manager Jack Valentine.

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