Hopkins breaks fingers, out of Brno

"...This caused a substantial break to one finger and further damage to another. If the injury had been on his left hand he would be on the GSV-R this afternoon" - Paul Denning.
Hopkins crash, Czech MotoGP 2011
Hopkins crash, Czech MotoGP 2011
© Gold and Goose

Wild-card John Hopkins has been forced to withdraw from this weekend's Czech Republic MotoGP after fracturing fingers in his right hand during Saturday morning practice.

Hopkins, second in the British Superbike Championship for Crescent Suzuki, fell from his Rizla Suzuki as he touched the brakes on entry to turn three of the wet FP3 session.

As he slid into the gravel his right hand sustained an impact causing a break and dislocation of his third finger and fracture of his second finger.

The #21 was immediately taken to the medical centre to have x-rays, where the injury was diagnosed and set in traction.

Hopkins will now return to America for surgery.

"I must apologise to the whole team for making such a stupid mistake out there this morning," said Hopkins.

"It was the smallest crash under braking in the wet conditions and as I slid along I kept my hand on the ground to try and slow me down, but as soon as I hit the gravel it went in and mangled my hand right up.

"I've fractured three fingers on my right hand. The index and middle finger are just normal fractures that probably wouldn't have kept me off the bike, but the third finger has separated and split down the middle from the knuckle.

"It's not a case of pain, strength or anything like that, it's simply that I can't bend the finger or both bones could come through the skin, so it would have been impossible to hold on to the bike."

The American - tenth at Jerez earlier this year when he replaced the injured Alvaro Bautista - had been an impressive seventh and tenth in Friday's dry sessions.

Hopkins claimed his best ever MotoGP finish, of second, as a Suzuki rider in the 2007 Czech Republic GP.

The next round of the 2011 BSB championship takes place on August 28/29 at Cadwell Park, although Hopkins is already assured of a place in the top six Title Showdown (held over the final three rounds, starting on September 11 at Donington Park).

MotoGP title leader Casey Stoner also fell at the same turn as Hopkins this morning, but was unharmed.

"This morning's injury is a huge disappointment to all of us at Rizla Suzuki and of course mostly to John," said team manager Paul Denning. "He is completely devastated that he is not able to compete in the Grand Prix tomorrow, especially as his form yesterday was extremely promising.

"He was just building up to speed very gradually in the wet conditions and, on the first lap that he tried to push a little bit harder, he made a simple mistake and folded the front.

"It was on exactly the same corner that Casey had done the same thing at the start of the session, but John was just less lucky and as he entered the gravel trap the angle of his hand meant that the impact folded his fingers.

"This caused a substantial break to one finger and further damage to another. If the injury had been his left hand he would be on the GSV-R this afternoon, but to control a MotoGP bike and expect to be competitive with that injury to his throttle and braking hand is completely unrealistic.

"From the team, thanks to John for being so professional and a pleasure to work with this weekend. It was also great to have a two-rider team again and all the clear advantages that it brings.

"Despite what happened this morning I believe everybody in MotoGP was impressed with the potential shown here in Brno by John. I have no doubt that we will see him on a Grand Prix bike again in the near future."

Bautista, eighth on Friday and 13th this morning, will now be Suzuki's only rider once again.

Read More