The French Motorcycle Grand Prix went from bad to worse for Suzuki rider John Hopkins when, having suffered two crashes on Saturday, his race ended after a painful high-side after only two laps of the restart.

"This is one of those weekends I'd just as soon forget," said a battered Hopkins after his first DNF of the year. "My shoulder was the worst thing, but now my whole body is bruised and I can't tell what hurts the worst."

The fall, which happened during the third lap while Hopper ran in 13th, left him bewildered - although its was almost certainly in part due to Suzuki's gamble to send out their riders on intermediate tyres instead of the full wets as used by the frontrunners.

"I don't know what I did wrong," he admitted. "It happened mid-turn under neutral throttle. I did the same thing I'd done the lap before. It was like every crash I had this weekend - no warning. It's frustrating when you don't know the reason you go down.

"We changed the engine mapping to deal with the ultra-slick track. Maybe that had something to do with it, it's hard to say. I probably made a bad tyre choice. I went with a cut rear (slick) and a full rain front. We thought it would dry out a little more than it did."

The team has cancelled scheduled testing and Hopkins will try to rest and heal before the next round in Mugello, Italy.

"Basically I'm just going to rest for the next couple of weeks," explained Hopkins, after dropping from 10th to 14th in the world championship standings. "I'm pretty discouraged right now, but things like this are part of racing. I just have to move on."

Countryman, and team-mate, Kenny Roberts faired little better, finishing just 16th after also losing out on the tyre gamble.

Roberts had been making fair progress in the first race, and was up to 11th at the head of his group after starting from 17th when the new white flag with a red cross was displayed to signal a temporary race stoppage.

"I was having an okay first race in the dry. I was able to be a little bit aggressive against some of the guys at the back, and get somewhat of a feeling for the bike. The character of the track meant I didn't have to worry about running into the back of anyone under brakes. At most tracks this year I've been very tentative in that area, because that is one thing we are having some problems with," revealed KR Jr.

"For the second race, we needed to gamble to have a shot to be in the top five. I knew it was wet, and I knew it was a gamble. At some race tracks, it would have dried out very quickly, but here parts of the track stayed wet to the end. So it was a bad choice if we were thinking about finishing tenth or 11th, but a good gamble if we wanted the top five. It didn't work out," he added.

"This may have been a GP, but it felt like a 24-hour endurance race," declared Team Manager Garry Taylor. "We were outgunned all weekend, but nobody could say John wasn't trying, with three crashes over the weekend. Kenny rode really hard in the first race, but in the second it was obvious pretty early that our tyre gamble wasn't going to pay off, but Kenny stayed out there plugging away in an effort to get more information. The riders are doing everything they can. We need some help from the factory engineers to get the new bike working the way it should."