Stiggy Honda will persevere with just Leon Haslam for the remainder of the 2009 World Superbike season after it was confirmed that John Hopkins has been forced out for the final three events due to a severe head trauma
Hopkins was injured in an accident at the Nurburgring during the opening lap of the race, the American having high-sided off the circuit before a competitor ran over his chest during the melee.
Knocked unconscious for ten minutes, although Hopkins was in good spirits later that evening, further medical checks revealed he has severe head trauma, as well as injuries to his shoulder, wrist and hip,
With a predicted recovery period of eight weeks, the Stiggy Honda team confirmed Hopkins will be unable to participate in the remaining rounds at Imola, Magny-Cours and Portimao.
“I travelled back to the United States on Monday and spent Tuesday undergoing MRI scans on my head, my left shoulder, right wrist and my hip. My doctor [Dr. Ting] reviewed the scans and found a big bruise and bleeding on the brain. I had to see a Neurologist to determine the severity of the condition and he has confirmed the bruise on the brain, but no further bleeding.
“My shoulder has tendon and ligament damage which require surgery, as well as my wrist. For the next six to eight weeks I have been instructed to rest and then I will need another scan to see if the bruising has gone. These weeks should be enough for my body to get back to normal, get the bones back in order and get my stamina, strength and overall fitness back up to par, which in return should raise my confidence and hunger to win!"
A former MotoGP front runner, Hopkins' maiden season in World Superbikes has been fraught with injury woes. Making his debut for the team at Valencia, Hopkins damaged his hip in an accident at the following Assen round, ruling him out for the next four events.
With the slow recovery process also causing problems at Misano and Donington Park, it was only at Brno and the Nurburgring that Hopkins could claim to be fully fit.
“All the injuries I sustained over the past year and a half have made it difficult for me to get into a constant training regime, and have left me with a mental disadvantage going into recent races. I wish my team all success for the remaining three rounds."