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|08-07-2015, 02:50 AM||#1|
Join Date: Nov 2008
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John Hopkins to Race Remainder of 2015 BSB Season
Itís been a great second half of the year for American roadracing. Just this weekend, during the ninth round of the 2015 World Supersport season, PJ Jacobsen took his first win in the class while also putting his name in the record books as the first American to ever win a World Supersport race. At the same time, Cameron Beaubier was getting his name abroad (again) by competing in the IDM German Superbike Championship. Beaubierís weekend may not have gone as well as Jacobsen's, with him crashing out of race one and finishing fourth in race two, but thereís no doubt that the exposure was good for both him and us as red, white, and blue waving race fans. Heck, as American roadracing fans, weíll grasp tightly onto anything that even remotely resembles hope for overseas success.
And thatís probably why weíre excited over the last bit of news to trickle in over the weekend: that John Hopkins has officially signed a deal to race a Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati 1199 Panigale for the remainder of the 2015 British Superbike season, in place of Jakub Smrz, who was injured at Snetterton back in June and just recently released from his contract.
Yamaha considering a return to World Superbike in 2016, with Cameron Beaubier as possible rider. More here:Hopkins, who finished second in the 2011 BSB Championship by an amount that probably still keeps him up at night, appears to be making the most of the opportunity, with him going on to finish sixth in his first race on the Panigale and qualifying on the front row at Thruxton. In fact, his sixth-place finish at Brands Hatch, which was originally intended to be a one-off ride, was the best finish for a Panigale in British Superbike competition.
Hopkins doesn't think that the success will end there either, the Californian going on to say in a press release that he's enjoying himself, and that the series is heading into some of his favorite tracks: "I haven't enjoyed myself on a bike this much in a long time and this opportunity is what I have been waiting for, especially after the frustrating start of the year when I had to watch everyone else testing and racing. It is amazing to think where we are already; I have had to take a step back and breathe to just look and appreciate how much progress has been made already. I have felt instantly at home with the feel of the throttle and the chassis which is incredible. We are coming up to some of my favorite tracks and I couldn't be more excited now and I definitely want to pick up where we left off last weekend at Thruxton."
If you're like the rest of us, you probably read that and still find it hard to put much hope on Hopkins' injury-prone shoulders. That doesn't mean, of course, that you can't at least have a little hope for some overseas success. After all, this is the same Hopkins that gave us one of the best endings to any championship...ever. Click play on the video below for a reminder.
And in the meantime, keep your hopes up.
Video of British Superbike 2011 Last Lap - Tommy Hill vs. John Hopkins (+ Post Race Interview)
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