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Old 03-19-2009, 08:23 PM   #1
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John Hopkins to announce 2009 plans. Stiggy??????

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By Matthew Birt
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19 March 2009 18:25


American John Hopkins is expected to announce his racing plans for the 2009 season tomorrow (Friday).

Frozen out after Kawasaki’s shock decision to quit MotoGP in early January because of the global economic crisis, the Californian is expected to confirm he has signed a deal to join the Stiggy Honda squad in World Superbikes, as was exclusively revealed by MCN in December.

Rumours started circulating again during last weekend’s Qatar WSB clash about the Hopkins deal, as was reported in yesterday’s (Wednesday) MCN.

Swede Johan Stigefelt has declined to comment on the Hopkins deal, but the 25-year-old is now a free agent having successfully negotiated a settlement with Kawasaki.

The former factory Suzuki rider was contracted to race a ZX-RR in 2009 with Marco Melandri before Kawasaki quit.

Hopkins’ first race on a FireBlade could come as soon Valencia on April 5 where he is expected to join British rider Leon Haslam and experienced Italian Roberto Rolfo.

Hopkins’ anticipated WSB move would add further spice to an already fascinating 2009 series which has seen fellow American Ben Spies winning three of his first four races on Yamaha’s new R1.
Now this could be good news
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
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Confirmed for Valencia 4/5.......

http://roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=35891

Another GP star for Ben to slay.
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Old 03-19-2009, 09:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Buck Beasley View Post
Confirmed for Valencia 4/5.......

http://roadracingworld.com/news/article/?article=35891

Another GP star for Ben to slay.
he has beat that one before.
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Old 03-19-2009, 10:19 PM   #4
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Can't remember... did Spies beat Hopper @ Laguna Seca last year?
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pre-K View Post
Can't remember... did Spies beat Hopper @ Laguna Seca last year?
I don't think Hopper rode LS in 2008:
http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Sta...008/USA/MotoGP

and in GBR, Hopper crashed:
http://www.motogp.com/en/Results+Sta...008/GBR/MotoGP
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Old 03-20-2009, 07:35 AM   #6
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Heck yeah this is good news

I can't wait to see how he does on his new ride
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:10 AM   #7
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Dont see this changing anything for Ben in 2009?
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:18 AM   #8
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Hopkins joins WSBK with Stiggy Honda
MotoGP exile John Hopkins has confirmed he will join the World Superbike Championship with the Stiggy Honda team from Valencia onwards.

Hopkins has been heavily linked with Johan Stigefelt's team in recent weeks, but only now, having seen his last chance of reunification with Kawasaki come to nothing, has a deal been signed.

Although it isn't currently clear whether Hopkins will ride a third Honda CBR1000RR or replace one of Stiggy's existing riders, the American revealed that he will be on the grid with the team from the third round of the championship at Valencia, Spain.

Thanking Kawasaki for allowing him to pursue other projects, Hopkins, who follows in the footsteps of Max Biaggi, Makoto Tamada and Shinya Nakano, is excited by the challenges that face him.

“Kawasaki and I worked it out where both parties left the relationship happy, and I am thankful to Kawasaki for letting me ride their bikes and race in their program,” Hopkins, who will bring valuable Monster backing with him, said. “I'm excited about racing in the 2009 season and solely putting my focus on moving forward.”

Hopkins had been tipped to make a World Superbike move from the moment Kawasaki confirmed it was withdrawing from MotoGP for financial reasons back in January.

However, while Hopkins was in line to replace the then-injured Roberto Rolfo at the start of the season, the prospect of a revived deal with Kawasaki – under the Hayate banner - is thought to have stalled negotiations. Only when it was apparent that Hayate would be built around Marco Melandri, did Hopkins reignite his Superbike plans.

Joining Ben Spies in increasing America's prominent involvement in the series, his arrival will be seen as another huge boost for the rapidly ascending production series.

Although he joins a privateer Honda team, Stiggy have already shown they are capable of good results in 2009 having helped Leon Haslam to a podium in their first meeting at Phillip Island.
sorry to see him leave MotoGP but thrilled to see him joining WSBK.
the stiggy Honda got on the podium in Australia so it bodes well,
strange how both he and West have ended up at Stiggy!!
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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WSBK is going to be awesome to watch this season!
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:48 PM   #10
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Im not saying I am faster than Hopper but he never had the credentials to be in motogp anyway, Ben will mop his up.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:13 PM   #11
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Im not saying I am faster than Hopper but he never had the credentials to be in motogp anyway, Ben will mop his up.
JU said he was fast enough and that is good enough for me. His early results also showed he was. He is not Bens equal though.
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Old 03-21-2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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Stiggy confirms Rolfo exit
Stiggy Racing has confirmed Roberto Rolfo has been ousted from the team to make way for John Hopkins.

Hopkins himself announced earlier that he will make his World Superbike debut with Johan Stigefelt's team, although it wasn't clear whether he would ride a third Honda CBR1000RR or replace either Rolfo or Leon Haslam.

However, with no third bike available, sponsors have chosen to back Hopkins instead, forcing Rolfo out on the sidelines after only two rounds with the team.

Despite his premature exit, ex-Ten Kate Honda rider Rolfo thanked the team for signing him before reiterating that his physical condition – a doubt before the season started – had not been a factor in his exit.

“With great sadness I have taken notice of the fact that the Stiggy Racing Team and its sponsors have expressed their wishes for another rider to support the team,” he said. “Based on this outcome, I have decided to end my collaboration with the team.

“I would like to thank my mechanics who have helped me in this short season. I would also like to emphasise the decision, to prevent any miscommunication, has nothing to do with my physical condition, which is perfect at the moment, but is entirely based on reasons beyond my influence.”

The Stiggy team also took the opportunity to thank Rolfo for bringing his wealth of experience to the team over the last few months.

“We are sorry to announce the premature ending of our collaboration with Roberto Rolfo, due to insolvable matters of sponsor interest.

“We would like to thank Roberto for his dedication and the effort he has put into the Stiggy Racing project from the beginning and sincerely hope he will quickly find the opportunity to participate once again in the SBK Championship. The team intends to maintain the excellent relationship it has built with Roberto Rolfo.”

Rolfo managed a best of 13th position in the first four races of the season.
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Old 03-21-2009, 11:28 PM   #13
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Rolfo was better than Hopper, I can think of a couple local cmra guys that Id put up against him. He was always at the back of pack in motogp with a book of excuses that would make Max B. proud.
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