MotoGP » Will John Hopkins make Suzuki MotoGP return?

John Hopkins back on a Suzuki MotoGP bike? "Watch this space..."

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rotsa ruck - Unregistered

February 04, 2011 7:30 PM

@ bring 'em back,
Oh it was no race. It was just a demo ride. Hopper got to ride an Aprilia Cup demo ride at Laguna Seca. He was only about 14 or so. I remember seeing him in the riders group...his leathers were tattered and his Alpinestars were so worn there was duct tape all over them to cover the holes. He had not even turned pro yet.

John Ulrich rode to the track with Hopper on the back of his bike just so he could get a demo ride in. After the demo, Ulrich bought a Cup bike so Hopper could ride in the Cup Championship. That is the series that launched his professional career. He ended up winning the Cup Championship the same year as that demo ride.

At the time of the demo ride that I signed on to do 1 slot after Hopper he was unknown. He wasn't a pro yet, rather a WSMC licensed racer with several class championships. Whether his path to success would have changed was my only question. I do not doubt he would have succeeded regardless. Only that he would have gone to Super St

Dean Dean

February 04, 2011 7:48 PM

Never one to miss an opportunity, Denning made identical comments with regard to Shakey Byrne joining the Rizla Suzuki BSB squad a few years back..however, Hopper does at least have loads of suzuki motogp experience and in comparison to Byrne, a lot more talent.


February 04, 2011 7:57 PM
Last Edited 1756 days ago

@ joel.... again

.....Sixth, Hopper was in fact a champion, along with the 250 cup series, he was 2000 ama 750 supersport champ, and 2001 ama formula extreem champ. While not on the world stage, though one could argue that the ama was the world stage for lower cc classes back in the early 2000's, never the less they are still championships. Seventh, Hopper has shown plenty of character when he stuck by Suzuki for all those years in moto gp when he had plenty of good offers from other factory teams, maybe not the smartest desicion but plenty of class. Last what do you think racing is really all about for the manufacturers? It's about selling bikes, so thats why Suzuki should worry about what thair fans want, to at least some extent anyway.

Good luck Hopper.

F1 - Unregistered

February 04, 2011 8:24 PM

Hopper had his time, but he hasn't proved anything lately and this story is way off in it's statement that he has returned to fitness last year. He hasn't shown speed or endurance, or consistency in a long time. This BSB season will tell it all. if he finishes mid-pack (my prediction) than no way does he deserve a return back.


February 04, 2011 9:04 PM
Last Edited 1756 days ago

@ joel

er, exactly what has Suzuki done since Hopper left the helm? Nothing. They have completely fallen on their ass. The next year after Hopper left, Chris V fell on his ass as well and eventually out of MotoGP.

Hopper got the rug pulled from under him by Kawasaki and than got injured. Neither him or Suzuki has had much luck since their separation.

I think this is a rare case were both could benefit from a reunion. Usually coming back to a former employee isn't such a good idea but it seems this may work IF Hopper is back to full fitness along with a renewed commitment from Suzuki. Anything less than Hoppers return to his former ability and fearlessness and along with a committed Suzuki, it will be a disaster that's to be avoided.

Hopper's unfortunate loss of form and speed is because of his multitude of serious injuries. Give his all as a rider but giving him a ride in MotoGP would be a waste of money. Even James Toseland, who was essentially an overrated backmarker in MotoGP, would be more competitive.


February 04, 2011 9:25 PM
Last Edited 1756 days ago



It's a difference between being competitive and getting injured and never being competitive at all. The only time JT seen the MotoGP podium is on the monitors in his pit or rolling down past it on pit row.

The "unfortunate loss of form and speed" is still open for debate. He showed good form at the end of last year. We'll see were he stands in health and speed in BSB and if he's gotten them back.


February 04, 2011 10:00 PM

@ Danny Boy
ok so in 10-11 yrs he has done nothing. He was has been in the elite for over 7yrs and the best he ever done was two podiums.. whoopdy doo.. You said it best though he is a good development rider! Thats all he will ever be in MotoGp! Spies accomplised that in his first real season. Now What! Mat Mladin put it best, Talent doesnt bring championships, riders that want to be champion become champions! He even said that Suzuki wanted him to go to MotoGp and he refused to go cuz the bike was crap!

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