Thruxton: Hopkins plots mix up at front in Thruxton

John Hopkins is ready to power through the pack at Thruxton and is targeting Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati's best results of the year
John Hopkins is ready to power through the pack at Thruxton this weekend in the MCE British Superbike championship and has full confidence in his Moto Rapido Ducati being instantly competitive at the high speed circuit.

The 2011 BSB runner-up, who is acting as stand in for the injured Jakub Smrz for Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati, impressed the paddock with his almost instantaneous adaptation to racing the Ducati having never competed with the Italian manufacturer machinery before.

The American converted his strong pace into a sixth place finish in race one at Brands Hatch and feels he can aim for the top five at Thruxton because of the Ducati's suitability to the Hampshire track.

“I am really looking forward to Thruxton, especially on this bike as the characteristics should suit Thruxton as its fast and flowing track,” Hopkins said. “With the power delivery and stability of the chassis I believe will be in a good position.

“I think to be pushing for the top five at Thruxton isn't that farfetched at all. We want to go into the weekend straight away and be fighting for that position.

“I will be grasping this opportunity at Thruxton and pushing as hard as I can with the team to improve on what we had at Brands Hatch.”

In 2014 at Thruxton, the Moto Rapido Ducati squad enjoy its most successful race weekend when Smrz grabbed pole position in qualifying on his way to sixth and 13th place finishes. Having already notched up the team's best result of 2015 at Brands Hatch, Hopkins says using Smrz's settings from last season will act as a solid base when he arrives at the track on Friday.

“The team have a good set up there from last season and even at Brands Hatch I was surprised at how little we needed to change the Ducati,” he explained. “So I imagine that will be the same for Thruxton.

“We also have some new parts to test next weekend so that's exciting too and I am over the moon with how it went at Brands Hatch so that is a real confidence boost before Thruxton.”

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John Hopkins (USA), Moto Rapido Ducati, BSB [Credit: British Superbike]
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July 31, 2015 10:42 AM

I wouldn't be shocked to see Hopper on the podium. I really hope to see him back in good racing shape and on this, or another capable bike, full time next year. It can't be easy being told you're the next Kevin Schwantz when your 17 and given a 500cc ride and suddenly you're in your 30's having never won a race in 500's/MotoGP. If there's ever been a guy who's suffered from some severe bad luck and deservess a good opportunity its Hopper.

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