Less than two weeks after insisting that John Hopkins was still part of its planned MotoGP project, FB Corse has now confirmed the 'termination of its collaboration' with the Anglo-American.
FB Corse is planning to enter MotoGP with a three-cylinder motorcycle at select events in 2010 and had claimed that former Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki MotoGP rider Hopkins remained part of the project, even after securing an AMA Superbike test.
But the four-time MotoGP podium finisher now looks certain to race the full AMA season for the M4 Suzuki team and a new statement released by FB Corse confirms Hopkins is out - but suggests a new high-profile rider has already been found.
"FB Corse must reluctantly announce that, following explicit requests from the management of John Hopkins, our team is obliged to terminate the collaboration agreement with the rider from California, even before it had begun,” said part of the (translated) statement, as published by BikeRacing.it.
FB Corse owner Andrea Ferrari added: "We are now faced with a situation that leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, because of how it has been handled. They told us just yesterday, without any valid justification or direct talk, that John could no longer come to Europe, at least until after running the first race of the AMA.
“I'm sorry, especially for the people who are working on this project. Until a few days ago, the sentiments expressed by the other party were to proceed together as agreed. The new conditions are no longer acceptable to our team."
However, the FB Corse statement insists that next month's Milan launch will go ahead as planned - with a new rider already in place.
“The new pilot, a top rider with proven experience in all major world championship categories and with good testing qualities has already been found, but you'll discover who at the launch.”