There will no holding back by John Hopkins this weekend in Malaysia, as the American does all he can to secure a full time 2012 MotoGP return during his third appearance of the year for Rizla Suzuki.
Tenth as a stand-in for Alvaro Bautista in the damp of Jerez, Hopkins was forced to abandon his next GSV-R ride when he suffered a hand injury during practice for the Czech Republic Grand Prix.
Hopkins recovered to mount a thrilling challenge for the British Superbike title, which he lost by just 0.006sec in the Brands Hatch season finale, and is now 100 percent focussed on MotoGP.
“I'm heading to Sepang with only MotoGP on my mind!" confirmed Hopkins, a MotoGP rider from 2002-2008. "When I went to Brno I was still in the middle of the BSB season and that was my main priority, but now I am totally focused on doing the best I can for Rizla Suzuki, the team and myself.
"I want to get back into MotoGP full-time and I cannot wait to get on the bike and show what I can do. I've seen Alvaro's performances in recent races and the GSV-R looks like a great piece of kit now, it seems like the factory and the crew have done a good job and I just can't wait to get on it.
"My finger is still sore, but that won't hold me back, I'm so happy to be back here and it's where I want to stay!”
Bautista likewise has plenty to prove this weekend, having crashed out of the top six at the last two rounds. The Spaniard, also waiting for Suzuki to confirm its 2012 MotoGP plans, finished fifth at Sepang last year.
“We need to put the result of last Sunday firmly behind us and concentrate on all the positives we had there," he said. "The bike worked really well all weekend on a track that has been difficult for us and if we can continue like that in Malaysia we will be very pleased.
"We had a good race at Sepang last year and we have some good references from the winter tests so I expect to be competitive. If the luck is finally with us we will have a result that we all deserve, after all the hard work we have put in and the progress we have made.
"Now it's a good chance to see two Suzukis on track, and maybe it can help Suzuki to produce a 1000cc bike for next year."