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Hopkins set for MotoGP return ahead of Brands Hatch BSB debut

Monday, March 28 2011

New BSB star John Hopkins will race for the first time this season when he makes his return to MotoGP at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, replacing the injured Alvaro Bautista ahead of his British Superbike debut at Brands Hatch on Easter weekend (22-25 April).

Hopkins will be back with the team that he last rode for in 2007, when he took a podium position in his final race to secure fourth in the world championship. Hopkins will then return to the UK to continue his pre-season test programme ahead of the opening round of BSB with the Samsung Crescent Racing team. Bautista is also expected to attend his home Grand Prix as a spectator as he continues his recovery following the operation to repair his broken thigh bone last week and is hoping to make a return the racing action at the earliest possible opportunity.

Hopkins said: "I was shocked by what happened to Alvaro, especially after such good winter testing, and I really wish him a speedy and full recovery - I wanted the opportunity to get back on a MotoGP bike, but not under these circumstances. I'm under no illusions that this will be tough weekend for me, as I've not been on a GP machine for a couple of years or ridden the new control tyres, except for the filming I did in Qatar a couple of weeks ago, so I realise this will be a step up. The bikes have moved on in the last three years, but when I rode the GSV-R at Losail it seemed so familiar and I immediately had a good feeling, but that was at filming pace, so it's going to be a lot different at race pace!

"I know the Jerez track well, so it's not like I need to learn a new circuit and I also know the team well so that that will help a lot. I will certainly be trying as hard as I can to get a good result and make sure that I don't disappoint anybody - myself included. I want to say a big thank you to Suzuki and Rizla for giving me this opportunity and I intend to pay back their faith with a good performance on my return to MotoGP."

You can now book your advance tickets for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season opener on Easter weekend (22-25 April) at Brands Hatch by calling 0843 453 9000 or by clicking the link below.