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Hopkins satisfied with MotoGP return

“I am actually quite confident that we can improve a lot tomorrow after I've had the chance to sit back, relax and think about things” – John Hopkins.
John Hopkins acquitted himself well during his first official MotoGP track sessions since the end of 2008, at Jerez on Friday.

Hopkins is substituting for the injured Alvaro Bautista at Rizla Suzuki this weekend - the team Hopkins spent the majority of his seven-year MotoGP career with.

The American's main target today was to learn the characteristics of the Bridgestone control tyres and re-acquaint himself with the GSV-R.

“Today was basically just about getting a feel for the bike and getting used to being back in the team. I wanted to get comfortable today and I didn't want to go out and do anything stupid – that's for sure!” said Hopper.

“Since I was last in MotoGP they've changed to 45-minute sessions [rather than one hour] so that was a bit different, I would have liked a lot longer on the bike to get a better feeling, but that was not possible.

“In the two sessions we altered some of the electronics, but we haven't changed anything on the chassis because it felt great, there was no need to change the geometry because the base setting was so good.”

The #21 made gradual steps throughout the day and - despite the strong winds that hampered all riders in the afternoon - managed to finish the second session just over two seconds behind the fastest rider of the day Casey Stoner.

Hopkins was 17th and last in FP1, but beat LCR Honda's Toni Elias in FP2.

“Obviously it's where I expected to be position wise, it's a tall order from not riding a MotoGP bike for so long and only having ridden about 150 to 200 laps on a superbike in the last seven months, there was certainly a lot to learn on the first day,” said John.

“I am actually quite confident that we can improve a lot tomorrow after I've had the chance to sit back, relax and think about things. I followed some people at the end of the day and I realised there are a lot of places where I need to change my lines, but that's normal really.




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vegasjon - Unregistered

April 01, 2011 6:51 PM

Throwing down the elbow... Amazing! So glad to see him back in MotoGP, even if it's only for a few races this season. Hopefully things go well and he can find a full time ride next season. For being away a few seasons he's getting up to speed quickly, not far off the few in front of him. My guess is that come race day he can fight for 11-13 spot, earning some solid points for Rizla.



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