John Hopkins found his late session efforts on a qualifying tyre hampered by gusty winds at Valencia today, which upset the handling of his Suzuki on several of the track's tight corners.

"We got off to a decent start, but everyone was at quite a slow pace at the beginning. Unfortunately everyone speeded up, as they should, and I lost positions," said John. "We're not trying to change anything huge. I tested some tyres for Michelin, and then put in a qualifying tyre. Grip is not an issue for us right now, but I am really fighting the wind. Anywhere where there's a headwind or when you're turning in to the corners, it's real difficult."

However, Hopkins has more than the wind direction in Spain to worry about - his family home in Ramona, California, has been under threat from the runaway forest fires currently engulfing that part of the US.

"I almost had to fly home last week - the fires were less than a mile from my house," revealed Hopper. "Now that seems under control, which is positive. Though I've just heard that my older sister has been evacuated from her house in the LA district."



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