Johan Stigefelt has described the acquisition of John Hopkins to his eponymous World Superbike team as a 'dream come true'.
Following Hopkins' earlier announcement of his plans to join Stiggy Racing, the team confirmed the former MotoGP rider will replace Roberto Rolfo from the Valencia round onwards.
A substantial coup for the privateer Honda team, Hopkins follows in the footsteps of Max Biaggi, Makoto Tamada and Shinya Nakano in making the switch from MotoGP, prompted when previous employers Kawasaki withdrew from the series.
For Stigefelt, Hopkins, a veteran of seven seasons in MotoGP, will provide the rookie Superbike team with invaluable experience
“To be able to have John in our team is like a dream come true for all of us. It will put more pressure on our performance, but Leon, his crew and the whole team have done a great job so far and I am confident we can give John a good bike and a good structure.
Being a new team, everything is new to us and so we must learn each track as we go along. With no previous data to work with, we are mainly developing the bike during race weekends and sometimes it can take a whole weekend to find the right settings.
Our intention is to be the best Honda out there and beat as many factory teams as possible. It will be difficult but, seeing what we have achieved already and the experience we are gaining every day, I am confident we can compete at the top.”