John Hopkins is looking forward to making his belated return to the World Superbike Championship at Misano having been sidelined for eight races with injury.

The American made his high profile series debut with Stiggy Honda at Valencia back in April, but an accident during free practice at Assen would go on to rule him out of the next four meetings with a hip injury.

Nonetheless, having missed out on the chance to compete in front of his home crowd at Miller Motorsports Park, Hopkins will instead return for the San Marino round of the series.

Promising to take things 'step-by-step' as he continues his rehabilitation, the former MotoGP rider is excited about the opportunity to be racing at Misano again.

"Misano is a track I do like a lot. I had some decent results there in the past, and got on the podium in the 2007 MotoGP race. It is a circuit I enjoy well, and the audience is always great. People really take a liking towards the World Superbike series, and I expect the atmosphere to be similar to the one we received at the MotoGP races. It is going to be an exciting race and hopefully I can be out there from the start.

"Right now, I am not going to make any promises of running at the front of the field. I am just taking it step-by-step and focus on getting a good feeling with the bike again and set the best possible results for the team and myself."

Having lost out to Jonathan Rea at Miller Motorsports Park when he crashed on the final lap, Leon Haslam is determined to get back on terms at Misano, a circuit he hasn't raced at in its current configuration.

Having received engine updates since the previous round in the United States, Haslam is hopeful of another good result over the weekend.

"I am looking forward to the Misano event this weekend, for me it is another circuit I have not been to before. It looks like a great track to me, and it will be another challenge to quickly learn the track and get the bike competitive.

"After returning from the US, I have spent some time in Italy with my engine company Oral. They have made some further improvements to our engines and I am looking forward to testing the hard work on the track this weekend."


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