Red Bull Suzuki's John Hopkins will start tomorrow's US Grand Prix from a disappointing sixth place on the grid, following a hard fought qualifying session at his home Laguna Seca.

Hopkins was in second position right up until the final moments of qualifying, when he was narrowly edged out of what would have been a well deserved front row start in front of his home fans.

"I'm definitely disappointed," admitted Hopper. "I don't want to be sitting on the second row, I want to be on the front.

"I gave it my all and did everything I could but unfortunately I ended up sixth. This will make me even more determined to run harder tomorrow. I'm going to give it everything I can, that's for sure.

"Race times are there, the bike's set-up is good and the Bridgestone's are working quite well, now it's up to me to go out, get a good start and haul ass," he declared.

However, team-mate and fellow American Kenny Roberts Jr faired much worse; the former world champion qualifying a mid-pack 12th after struggling for grip.

"We have tried hard today to get everything right but we are still struggling to get a consistent amount of grip out there," said the 2000 world champion.

"I would have liked a better position - obviously - but I think where we are is about right for what the bike and the tyres gave me today.

"I will be looking to get a good start tomorrow and make up a few places early on and as the race progresses we will just have to see what happens," concluded Kenny.

"John was again so close to a front row start," underlined team manager Paul Denning. "He got caught in traffic on one of his faster laps and I'm sure he could have gone a fraction of a second quicker, if he had got a clear run. Kenny is still looking for that extra bit of grip but he is hoping that he can make up some places early on in tomorrow's race.

"We will have to wait and see what tomorrow's weather is like and if we will have the tyre durability over 32 laps of this very demanding circuit. Both riders will be going for it from the start in front of their home fans."



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