In her latest report on, Desiree Crossman, girlfriend of Suzuki star John 'Hopper' Hopkins, reviews the first official MotoGP test session of the season, at a chilly Circuit de Catalunya...

"Hello everyone,

"Sorry for the delay in the email, I wrote yesterday from the lounge at Barcelona airport and when I went to send it, the computer denied sending it so now I have to re-write it and try to remember what I wrote.

"Anyway, the test in Catalunya went pretty well. The weather wasn't being too friendly as you can remember the first time I emailed from the track it was snowing. The first day of testing was alright, John was familiarizing himself with the bike since having ridden it back in January along with the new improvements Suzuki has done as well. It was extremely cold the first day of testing and the second day of testing, mother nature was having an attitude so a handful of riders went out. It just rained the whole time and unfortunately a lot of spectators came to watch hardly any excitement going on.

"I continued to check the weather every hour on the hour via internet and CNN to see what was in the forecast and it didn't seem like it was going to let up. The rest of Europe was alright and Spain was the one being hammered with bad weather. Usually, Spain is the Oasis of Europe and this just seemed not the case this time around. It was warmer for me in London then it was down at Cataluyna. Some of the locals even predicted Sunday to be snowing and freezing again. However, Sunday turned out to be ok, it was cold but not as bad as the previous days so the riders could have their time out of the track without defrosting.

"Also, they were doing the BMW live timing session and we were all keen to see who was going to win it, but I think we knew and kept it under our breathe. Competition is going to be tight this year. Prior to the testing, I went online to see the results for the WSBK race down in Phillip Island, and was stoked to see Gaz win race two. So I phoned Gemma and the minute she got on, we were laughing and cheering. I was so excited for him to win, she told me about the race and told me they were already partying. Mind you it was nearly evening over there in Australia. Then John spoke with Gaz for a bit congratulating him. So we were happy for that.
"The early morning session was going well. It was good to see Kenny up there, and Colin was doing really well back on the Honda. Nicky ended up being the fastest in the morning practice and John was pleased with all the improvements factory has made. The teams' main concern was consistancy in times in which I think they accomplished, along with coming up with the right settings. Not too worried about getting a new car, but I wouldn't mind a new BMW next year - j/k. Valentino came out on top and it's good to see him adapting well to his new ride. A lot of people are optimistic about this year, who's gonna end up where on the leader board, so it's going to be quite exciting.

"During the live session though, there was an oil spill and a first turn pile up occurred. I was in hospitality speaking with John's manager when I glanced over to the TV screen and saw the tail end of it. Apparently, an Aprilia leaked some oil and there ended up being a domino effect. John saw it from a distance and was barely able to avoid it. Once he did so, he pulled over and waved his hands to get the corner workers to red flag the incident, then, his bike stalled and he had to push the bike back to pit lane. At least it didn't brake down, and it was a good session. I think a few riders crashed but I wasn't paying too much attention so I couldn't tell you who did.

"After the session, a few riders still went out and continued their testing. Our side of the garage did a limited amount of testing, got what they needed to get done and called it day. The temperature was starting to drop down and the wind was starting to pick up. So, the team packed up and that was that.

"Monday morning the wind was tremendous. It seemed like a hurricane was heading our way and when we were at the airport that afternoon, it didn't look like planes were able to fly out. Visibility was bad and the rain was coming down hard, almost as bad as the time in Malaysia were I was freaking out in the plane wanting to get back in the hotel. But I sucked it up. As we were ready to board, our flight was delayed an hour so we had to go back into the lounge and wait another hour until it was ready the second time around. There was an older man sitting in our row who snored the whole flight, extremely loud. Luckily I wasn't sitting next him. :)

"Well now, we're here in Jerez at the track and the weather is being a bit more friendly. It calls for one day of rain and then sunshine so that should be good. I'll write more later this week. Until then, bye for now."




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