Jakub Smrz says he understands the decision by the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team to drop him in favour of John Hopkins for the remainder of the 2015 MCE British Superbike Championship as he looks towards making a rapid return to action.

The Czech rider had started the season with the returning Moto Rapido squad aboard the Ducati 1199 Panigale, but an injury sustained at the Snetterton round led to him being substituted by former MotoGP rider and 2011 BSB runner-up John Hopkins.

With Smrz failing to score points prior to his injury, Hopkins' performances at Brands Hatch and Thruxton - which included a front row start and a top six finish - has prompted Moto Rapido to keep him on for the remainder of the 2015 season.

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Though disappointed to be frozen out of the line-up, former World Superbike rider Smrz - who is still recovering from injury - says he respects the decision of the team in the circumstances.

"Racing does not always go the direction you want and I understand and respect the decision of the team. It?s been a hard start to the season and very unlucky for me and the team. In the moment when things started to work perfectly and I could finally fight for podiums, I got injured.

"Of course I'm not happy to finish now and that it's not me to benefit from the hard development work we?ve done, but I wish good luck to Moto Rapido and John. Now I will continue my fitness preparation and hopefully I can be back on a race bike soon."

For team owner Steve Moore, dropping Smrz in favour of Hopkins 'wasn't an easy decision', but is certain it is the best one for the team in the long-term.

"Last weekend we made more steps forward with the bike and despite the result we have to consider Thruxton a success. We're not in a championship battle so the results are not as important as the progress, although we are keen to chalk up the first win soon.

"I can confirm that John will ride for the team for the remainder of the season and is now signed as our permanent rider. Expanding the team to a two rider effort isn't possible; we simply don't have the resources to properly staff and run two riders without compromising the effort and attention to detail that I'm sure has pushed the team forward. To overstretch would be a big mistake and wouldn't be professional or fair to either rider.

"Personally it isn't an easy decision to replace Kuba, but with his injury still in question and the momentum we have with John I have to do what is the best for the team, sponsors and Ducati. I've spoken to Kuba and he remains professional, which I thank and respect him for. It's important to recognise the amazing development work that he has done with the Ducati.

"The situation doesn't do him any justice especially as the bike was considerably improved prior to the Snetterton round and he just didn't get a chance to display his potential on the bike John is now riding. I am sure he would be a front running rider too and if we had the opportunity to expand the team there would be no question about having him ride.

"The remainder of the season and 2016 is what we have to concentrate on now, and my job is to make the decisions that will give us the best chance of