Desiree Crossman, girlfriend of Suzuki star John 'Hopper' Hopkins, reports from the final day of the Catalunya IRTA test, where all the MotoGP teams and riders are present for the first time this year and the fastest guy in a special one-off shootout won a new BMW...

"Today was a good day. The weather was excellent, in fact it was the warmest all week. John [pictured] didn't get out until 11:00am, I dropped him off at the track and headed back to the 3-star 'down the drain' hotel and packed up.

"By the time I got back, he was just about to ride. There weren't too many riders out in the beginning, I mainly sat in the garage and watched the times. I guess they were trying a lot of things out today, I could tell cause' John was in and out and wasn't in a speaking mood.

"Today was the live qualifying, but before they did it, of course they did the MotoGP picture with all the riders. The photographers go freakin' mad when it's that time. Pushing and shoving, "Rossi Rossi, Max Max, Kato Kato, Hopkins Hopkins, McCoy McCoy!" Yes, they love taking them pictures don't they? As soon as it was over, the riders scrambled out, that was good.

"They also ran the BMW qualifying session today. In the beginning, they made all the riders and mechanics set up at the end of pit lane like it's something exciting. Personally I thought it was ridiculous, was it really necessary to cut into their practice time for a show? Anyway, they got out and started riding. Majority came in on the first lap and sat around nonchalantly.

"After a while, the pace started picking up and then down to the wire, Capirossi throws his punch. He got a 1min 43.6secs and that BMW. In the two minutes when the times were kicking in, John came in, changed tyre and then shot out. The bike is not completely up to spec at the moment, but he managed to get a decent lap time.

"During the whole session, I was talking to Jason from Alpinestars and he starts telling me all these people that went down earlier that morning. I started laughing thinking he's takin' the piss but nope I guess a boat load of riders hit the turf today. Shows how much I know sitting in a garage. Gibernau, Edwards, Pitt, Checa, Itoh, and maybe one more. But I heard nothing about it so I thought this was a crash free test, but apparently I was wrong.

"Alright, well that has been the day. Right now we are in a hotel near the airport and are going back to the track to eat some grub and hang out with Gaz [Garry McCoy] and Gemma. We left early to find our hotel by the airport called Hotel Alfa. Well, we drove everywhere trying to find this damn hotel, drove through industrial parks, red lights, until I finally asked this hotel where the Alfa was.

"It was way out in the sticks so I said screw it, cancelled that reservation and booked the one we are in now. It's nice and I scored a good deal. (Winked at the guy at the desk, joke - he saw John). Tomorrow we head for home for a week until Japan.

"Until then... Catch ya later."




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