Brands Hatch Grand Prix: Hopkins joins Hill's Yamaha squad for 2016

John Hopkins has joined forces with his British Superbike 2011 title rival Tommy Hill as he becomes the first rider announced to join the new THM ePayMe Yamaha team
John Hopkins has joined forces with his British Superbike 2011 title rival Tommy Hill as he becomes the first rider announced to join the new THM Yamaha team for the 2016 MCE British Superbike championship.

The American rider lost out on the BSB title to Hill four years ago by 0.006s in a thrilling finale and at Brands Hatch and at the same venue the two agreed a contract for next season in a bid to win the championship together.

The 32-year-old rider has spent the second half of the 2015 BSB season racing for the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati squad after replacing Jakub Smrz and despite being a complete novice competing on a Ducati the American has adapted exceptionally, culminating in a rostrum result this weekend.

Hopkins says he's delighted to secure a ride for 2016 so early is excited to see his potential in the Yamaha R1.

"Honestly I couldn't be more excited, to be able to start the 2016 season on a Yamaha after seeing what it was capable of this year,” Hopkins said. “For years, I mean years now, seeing the Yamaha Superbike out on track, I have always just thought in the back of my mind that it was a bike that would really sort my riding style. This new Yamaha R1 is truly something special and honestly I am so excited to just get my first chance to ride it and give it a go.

"I think this is possibly going to be one of the first times in my career bar none that I will have one of the most competitive machines out in the field and with that in mind I am going to do everything myself I possibly can, mentally and physically to come back and try and win this Championship.

"If someone had said to me then that I would be riding for Tommy Hill's team I would have said no way! At that moment in time I saw red; I was happy for him as he put in a lot of work and he did win it fair and square. I am really happy and pleased with today's news because at the end of the day it makes a really good story - racers are a really tight knit community and I am really happy for Tommy that he has got this opportunity to run such a great team. I am going to be out there trying to win that championship for us."

Team boss Hill says a the team's second rider –rumoured to be Stuart Easton after being edged out of Paul Bird Motorsport – but says the second rider will be announced in the coming weeks.

"I am really happy to confirm John Hopkins as part of the THM ePayMe Yamaha team next year,” Hill said. “We have secured a great two rider line-up for next season and I believe that both riders have huge potential. We will be announcing our second rider very soon.

"It's particularly poignant to announce John here at Brands Hatch today because this is the scene of the most memorable race of both our careers and is still the most talked about race in BSB history.”

Tagged as: John Hopkins

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
John Hopkins (USA), BSB, [Credit: Wendy Salisbury]
John Hopkins and Tommy Hill, THM ePayMe, BSB [Credit: BSB]
Howie Mainwaring Smart, Anvil Hire Yamaha []
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
Broc Parkes, ePayMe Yamaha, [Credit:]
Luke Mossey, Quattro Plant Kawasaki [Credit:]
Michael Laverty, Tyco BMW, BSB [Credit:]
Ryuichi Kiyonari, Smiths BMW [Credit:]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit:]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, BSB [Credit:]
James Ellison, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit:]

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October 18, 2015 7:49 PM

I'd like to see Hopper's career revived by this interesting opportunity on a really competitive bike. He's had more than the average series of ups and downs in his both his personal and racing history, even though some of the downs have been self-inflicted. Winning a BSB championship would be a nice consolation prize.

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