Crescent Suzuki has announced that Peter Hickman will replace the injured John Hopkins at this weekend's Donington Park World Superbike round.
Hopkins - who also missed the season-opening Phillip Island event through injury - was officially ruled out of the first British 2012 round only yesterday, after suffering a broken bone in his right foot and torn muscles in his left hip at Monza last Sunday.
Finding a replacement at such short notice was no easy task, but Hickman has accepted the challenge and will thus be on track alongside Leon Camier tomorrow (Friday) morning.
24-year-old Briton Hickman has scored nine points this season for MSS Kawasaki in BSB.
"I'm so happy that I've got a chance to ride with the Fixi Crescent Suzuki team this weekend,” he said. “It's going to be a steep learning curve, but I've got nothing to lose, so I'm really looking forward to it.
“I know the track, but I don't know the bike, so I'll be spending the first practice getting used to the GSX-R and how it behaves around Donington. I'd like to thank everybody in the team for giving me this chance and I really hope that I will not disappoint them."
Hopkins hopes to recover in time for his home US round at Salt Lake City on May 26-28th. TAS Suzuki BSB star Josh Brookes had replaced Hopkins at Phillip Island.
"It's disappointing not to have John on the bike this weekend, but he's suffering a lot of discomfort from his left hip and he'll have a scan tomorrow [Friday] to determine the full extent of the damage,” said team manager Jack Valentine.
"We're pleased to be able to give an opportunity to a young British rider - Peter Hickman. I was impressed by Peter in BSB last year when he was running at the sharp end for most of the season.
"It's a great opportunity for him and I would like to thank the MSS BSB team for allowing him to ride this weekend."
Crescent has also announced that Fixi has signed on as title sponsor for the rest of the season, having been 'co-title sponsor'. The change means a revised livery and tweak of the official team name, from 'Crescent Fixi Suzuki' to 'Fixi Crescent Suzuki'.
“Everybody knows that the commercial situation worldwide is tough and that sports sponsorships are increasingly difficult to secure, so we are both proud and delighted that Fixi has decided to extend the 2012 partnership to title sponsor, we intend to re-pay Fixi's trust in full,” said team principal Paul Denning.
“Despite a tough start to the season we very much hope that this change of livery - with more prominent Fixi branding from Donington Park onwards - coincides with the team fighting for the podium.”
Camier is 17th in the championship and Hopkins 21st, after four of 14 rounds.