John Hopkins says he is 'over the moon' to be celebrating a World Superbike Championship pole position just a year after he was nearly forced to retire from motorcycling altogether.
The former MotoGP rider has suffered a plethora of injury woes in recent seasons, not least when he last appeared in World Superbikes as a Stiggy Honda rider in 2009, the American starting just six races due to various ailments.
However, it was a persistent wrist injury that threatened to end his career in 2010, Hopkins revealing he was advised by various doctors' to give up racing altogether.
Nonetheless, Hopkins is racing on in the British Superbike Championship, a move that has revived his career and helped him towards a stunning pole position on his wild-card WSBK outing – his first on the international stage since the MotoGP Assen TT in 2006.
“I am over the moon,” the Samsung Crescent Suzuki rider declared. “I know it is just qualifying and Superpole but I am just so grateful to be here and racing a wild-card in the World Superbike series - to be racing a motorcycle at all!
“Last year I was told by many doctors that I had to retire, but luckily I found someone that could fix my wrist. Hats off gto the Samsung Crescent Suzuki team, they've been working their butts off!
“The work starts tomorrow. We are looking ptetty good on race tyres, but I guarantee I'll be going out to give it my best.”
Hopkins's comeback trail will also see him riding a MotoGP Rizla Suzuki in the Czech Republic Grand Prix next month.