Joe Roberts credits John Hopkins relationship for Moto2 turnaround

Joe Roberts admits he ‘can never sense any bad emotion’ from John Hopkins.

Joe Roberts, Moto2, Jerez test, 1 March
Joe Roberts, Moto2, Jerez test, 1 March

Joe Roberts made his return to the American Racing team in 2024 and has been in stunning form ever since.

A seventh place finish in Qatar was backed up by three second place finishes, including the most recent round at Jerez. 

As a result of his latest P2, Roberts has taken over the championship lead heading into the French GP at Le Mans this weekend.

Roberts, who went through several difficult seasons with the Italtrans team, has credited the relationship he has with racing director at American Racing, John Hopkins.

“When I first started working with John in 2020, I came from a year where I didn’t know if I was going to continue racing,” Roberts told

“I got lucky with the people that were placed with me in 2020, and a great crew chief and great bike. Having John there… I remember first talking to him.

“When you talk to him, there are no doubts at all. It’s complete positivity. Like even last weekend, I qualified 11th and I was like, ‘Ah shit. What the hell? What was that? 11th? That’s not where we should be.’

“And John’s literally just like, ‘Nah that’s alright, you’ll just make up those positions in the race.’”

“I can never sense any bad emotion from him. It’s always positivity and it just eliminates so much doubt within yourself if you have that stable person in your life who believes in you.

“And he has all the credentials of the past to validate these thoughts too. It’s not just some random guy telling you, ‘You can do it, man’.

“Everyone can tell you that, but you’re like, ‘Well, what the hell do you know?’ But when John tells you you can do it, you believe him and trust him.”

Not only is Hopkins a figure inside the paddock that allows Roberts to feel more comfortable, but the California-born rider is riding under the tutelage of his ‘hero’.

Roberts said: “He was like a hero of mine growing up, and he’s been here and done it.

“Combined with the similarities as far as riding styles and all these things, it’s just a nice thing.

“And my older brother travels with me, and lives with me, and it’s always nice to have your older brother there.

“He knows what you’re thinking before you’re thinking it.”

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