John Hopkins (motorcycle racer)

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John Hopkins
2005 0319 John Hopkins.jpg
Nationality American
Born (1983-05-22) May 22, 1983 (age 31)
Ramona, California
Current team Tyco Suzuki
Bike number 21
Website hopperracing.com
Motorcycle racing career statistics
MotoGP World Championship
Active years 20022008, 2011
Manufacturers Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki
Championships 0
2011 Championship position 21st (6 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
112 0 4 1 2 563
Superbike World Championship
Active years 2009, 2011-2012
Manufacturers Honda, Suzuki
2012 Championship position 19th (44 pts)
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
28 0 0 1 0 81
British Superbike Championship
Active years 2011
Manufacturers Suzuki
Championships 0
2011 Championship position 2nd
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
23 5 16 3 2 645

John "Hopper" Hopkins (/ˈɒn ˈhɒpkɪnz/; born May 22, 1983) is an American motorcycle racer currently racing in the British Superbike Championship (BSB). Hopkins has raced previously in MotoGP, AMA Superbike Championship, and Superbike World Championship. He first raced in MotoGP in 2002 for the Red Bull Yamaha WCM team on a two-stroke 500 cc bike, and joined the factory Suzuki squad a year later, for a five-year spell. He raced for the Kawasaki MotoGP team in 2008, but they dropped him for 2009 due to the global economic crisis and the company's uncompetitive showings. He has subsequently raced in both the World and British Superbike championships, finishing second in the 2011 British Superbike Championship season although injuries and alcohol problems have affected his results,.[1][2]

He was born in Ramona, California to parents from Acton, England.[3]

Biography[edit]

Hopkins began riding Motocross bikes as a child and won his first race on a MiniBike on 1986, switching to road racing full-time in 1999. Hopkins proposed to his girlfriend Ashleigh in the summer of 2007 on her 21st birthday. They married in Las Vegas in December 2007.

He is featured in the 2003 documentary film, Faster.

MotoGP career[edit]

2002[edit]

The 2002 season saw Hopkins join the WCM RedBull Yamaha team alongside multiple race winner Garry McCoy. The team was using Yamaha YZR500 motorcycles on lease from Yamaha. Overall the YZR500 was considered to be uncompetitive that year, due to a change in the regulations allowing 990 cc four-stroke motorcycles to race against 500 cc two-stroke motorcycles. Although the two-strokes held (on average) a 10 kg weight advantage over the four-strokes, they had between 30 and 50 less hp depending on the engine configuration used for the racetrack. Hopkins finished the season ranked 15th, with 58 points, which put him 25 points clear of his teammate McCoy.

2003[edit]

In 2003 Hopkins joined the Suzuki factory racing team. This year he would ride a 990 cc V4 four-stroke. In 2003 John was teamed with 2000 500cc world champion Kenny Roberts, Jr.. Although he was racing a four-stroke this year, the results did not seem to come as one would have expected. There are many theories for this, including the Suzuki's lack of power and its tendency to wear out tires faster than other bikes. This year also saw Hopkins involved in a turn 1 crash at the Japanese Grand Prix at Motegi, he was accused of causing this crash, and was suspended for one race. This suspension resulted in a DNS (did not start) at the Malaysian Grand Prix. Also noteworthy for the 2003 season was the crash in Italy where Kenny Roberts, Jr.'s GSV-R Suzuki suffered an engine management failure and the bike launched into Hopkins, putting both GSV-R's out of the race. At the end of the season, Hopkins finished in 17th place with 29 points. This finish put him 2 places and 7 points ahead of his teammate Kenny Roberts, Jr.

2004[edit]

The technology and technical advancement of the GSV-R was further developed in 2004. Most of the refinements took place in the engine management package, making the bike easier to ride. Towards the end of the year, the GSV-R was showing clear improvements, allowing Hopkins to move up the standings. Unfortunately it also saw several mechanical failures, which effectively undid the hard work to develop the motorcycle. Having qualified on the front row at Motegi, he was eliminated in a first-corner crash. Of note is that John was crashed into by Loris Capirossi, one of the same riders he himself had hit at the very same turn 1 at Motegi in 2003. Overall he finished 16th.

2005[edit]

John continued with Suzuki in 2005, as the team showed promising signs after the arrival of Paul Denning as team boss following Denning's success with Suzuki's British Superbike team. John briefly led at Donington, but his best result was a 5th place at Motegi, and he was 14th overall. Qualifying results were often better than race results, largely due to Bridgestone tires being better suited to short runs.

2006[edit]

Remains at Suzuki, now backed by Rizla, where he is joined by new team-mate Chris Vermeulen. Enjoys his best season yet. Hopkins finished the 2006 season in 10th place overall with 116 points. Hopkins has had one pole position this season, at Assen. His best finishes were in China and in Catalunya, where he finished fourth.

2007[edit]

Continuing with Rizla Suzuki, Hopkins set near-lap-record times aboard the new 800 cc motorcycle, and was labeled the dark horse by Colin Edwards. On February 15, 2007 he fractured his wrist after falling while testing at the Jerez circuit in Spain, but returned for the start of the season.

Hopkins completed his first MotoGP podium finish at the Shanghai circuit in China, finishing in 3rd place – 3.6 seconds behind Valentino Rossi but 7.6 seconds ahead of 2006 event winner Dani Pedrosa. He finished as 4th overall in the 2007 season, two places ahead of Vermeulen and one behind Rossi.

2008[edit]

For 2008 he joins Kawasaki Racing Team. Explaining the decision, Rizla Suzuki boss Paul Denning suggested that "There are reasons for that other than performance."[4] He crashed heavily at Assen, fracturing his ankle.

Prior to 2009 season, Kawasaki made the decision to halt MotoGP racing activities because of the global economic crisis, meaning that John Hopkins would not have a ride for the 2009 season.

2011[edit]

Hopkins returned to MotoGP in the Spanish motorcycle Grand Prix in April 2011 as a temporary replacement for Álvaro Bautista in the Suzuki team.[5]

World Superbike Championship[edit]

2009[edit]

After the Kawasaki team pulling out of MotoGP, Hopkins secured a mid season ride on the Stiggy Racing Honda[6] Replacing the sacked Roberto Rolfo. Hopkins scored points during his first round in Valencia. At the next round in Assen Hopkins would fall and dislocate his hip, Hopkins then wouldn't return until San Marino [7] where he couldn't complete the weekends racing. After a career best finish in the first race at Donington Hopkins who was still hurt couldn't complete the second race. Following 2 retirements at the Brno round, Hopkins would suffer a horror crash and the Nürburgring being run over after he was taken out by Makoto Tamada and Broc Parkes, Hopkins was unconscious for ten minutes but luckily sustained no serious injuries.[8] The Stiggy Honda team then withdrew from the world superbike paddock leaving Hopkins once again without a ride for 2010.[9]

2011[edit]

In 2011 Hopkins rode his Samsung Crescent Suzuki at the Silverstone World Superbike round. Hopkins was fast from the start being fastest in free practice sessions, capturing his first Superbike World Championship pole position with a new circuit record lap.[10]

2012[edit]

In January 2012, Hopkins had his right ring-finger amputated just above the first joint up from the knuckle.

He missed the first race of the season after a testing crash, ironically breaking the knuckle below the stump from the finger he had chopped off at the start of the year.

2013[edit]

In October 2012, Hopkins announced that he would be taking the 2013 season off to recover from his injuries.[11] In April 2013, Hopkins had hip replacement surgery following a heavy crash at Monza, but announced at the Le Mans MotoGP event in May that he would be testing again within two months. [12]

AMA Superbike Championship[edit]

2010[edit]

After one season in SBK John Hopkins returned to United States racing - considered a superstar in the AMA. He raced for the M4 Monster Suzuki team.[13]

British Superbike Championship[edit]

2011[edit]

For the 2011 season Hopkins raced in the British Superbike Championship. He rode for the Crescent Suzuki team. At Oulton Park he won the second race making history, being the first American to win a British Superbike race. Hopkins made history yet again at the new Snetterton 300 where he won the first British Superbike race.

Hopkins came within 0.006 seconds of winning the title. Losing out to Tommy Hill on the last lap of the final round at Brands Hatch.

2014[edit]

On the 29th of October 2013 it was announced that Hopkins, after taking a year out to recover from multiple injuries, would return to the British Superbike Championship for 2014 having signed to ride for Tyco Suzuki.

Career statistics[edit]

Grand Prix motorcycle racing career[edit]

By seasons[edit]

Year Class Moto Team Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts Plcd WCh
2002 MotoGP Yamaha YZR500 WCM 15 0 0 0 0 58 15th
2003 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 14 0 0 0 0 29 17th
2004 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 15 0 0 0 0 45 16th
2005 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 17 0 0 0 0 63 14th
2006 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 17 0 0 1 0 116 10th
2007 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 18 0 4 0 2 189 4th
2008 MotoGP Kawasaki Ninja ZX-RR Kawasaki Racing Team 15 0 0 0 0 57 16th
2011 MotoGP Suzuki GSV-R Suzuki MotoGP 1 0 0 0 0 6 21st
Total 112 0 4 1 2 563 0

By class[edit]

Class Seas 1st GP 1st Pod 1st Win Race Win Pod Pole FLap Pts WCh
MotoGP 2002–2008, 2011 2002 Japan 2007 China N/A 112 0 4 1 2 563 0
Total 2002–2008, 2011 112 0 4 1 2 563 0

Races by year[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Bike 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Pos Pts
2002 MotoGP Yamaha JPN
12
RSA
13
SPA
14
FRA
11
ITA
12
CAT
10
NED
7
GBR
8
GER CZE
Ret
POR
8
BRA
14
PAC
14
MAL
18
AUS
16
VAL
11
15th 58
2003 MotoGP Suzuki JPN
13
RSA
13
SPA
7
FRA
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAT
15
NED
15
GBR
11
GER
Ret
CZE
17
POR
18
BRA PAC
Ret
MAL
EX
AUS
12
VAL
13
17th 29
2004 MotoGP Suzuki RSA
13
SPA
15
FRA
Ret
ITA CAT
Ret
NED
14
BRA
15
GER
9
GBR
8
CZE
Ret
POR
6
JPN
Ret
QAT
8
MAL
Ret
AUS
15
VAL
12
16th 45
2005 MotoGP Suzuki SPA
14
POR
Ret
CHN
7
FRA
16
ITA
11
CAT
Ret
NED
14
USA
8
GBR
11
GER
DNS
CZE
14
JPN
5
MAL
9
QAT
17
AUS
10
TUR
15
VAL
13
14th 63
2006 MotoGP Suzuki SPA
9
QAT
Ret
TUR
17
CHN
4
FRA
15
ITA
10
CAT
4
NED
6
GBR
8
GER
10
USA
6
CZE
7
MAL
6
AUS
12
JPN
12
POR
6
VAL
11
10th 116
2007 MotoGP Suzuki QAT
4
SPA
19
TUR
6
CHN
3
FRA
7
ITA
5
CAT
4
GBR
5
NED
5
GER
7
USA
15
CZE
2
RSM
3
POR
6
JPN
10
AUS
7
MAL
8
VAL
3
4th 189
2008 MotoGP Kawasaki QAT
12
SPA
7
POR
5
CHN
14
FRA
Ret
ITA
Ret
CAT
10
GBR
Ret
NED
DNS
GER USA CZE
11
RSM
14
IND
14
JPN
10
AUS
13
MAL
11
VAL
14
16th 57
2011 MotoGP Suzuki QAT SPA
10
POR FRA CAT GBR NED ITA GER USA CZE
DNS
IND RSM ARA JPN AUS MAL
C
VAL 21st 6

Superbike World Championship[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position, races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2009 Honda AUS AUS QAT QAT SPA
11
SPA
12
NED NED ITA ITA RSA RSA USA USA SMR
DNS
SMR
DNS
GBR
8
GBR
DNS
CZE
Ret
CZE
Ret
GER
Ret
GER
DNS
ITA ITA FRA FRA POR POR 23rd 17 [14]
2011 Suzuki AUS AUS EUR EUR NED NED ITA ITA USA USA SMR SMR SPA SPA CZE CZE GBR
5
GBR
7
GER
GER
ITA
ITA
FRA
FRA
POR
POR
19th 20
2012 Suzuki AUS AUS ITA
13
ITA
Ret
NED
Ret
NED
11
ITA
C
ITA
DNS
EUR EUR USA
Ret
USA
16
SMR
17
SMR
14
SPA
15
SPA
Ret
CZE
15
CZE
14
GBR
Ret
GBR
10
RUS
9
RUS
12
GER
13
GER
13
POR
12
POR
11
FRA
DNS
FRA
DNS
19th 44 [15]
  • * Season in progress.

AMA Superbike Championship[edit]

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2
2010 Suzuki DAY
DNS
DAY
Ret
FON
7
FON
5
RAT
5
RAT
5
INF
INF
RAM
RAM
M-O
M-O
LAG
VIR
15
VIR
DNS
N-J
5
N-J
3
BAR
3
BAR
2
10th 151 [16]

British Superbike Championship[edit]

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Pos Pts Ref
R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R3 R1 R2 R1 R2 R1 R2 R3
2011 Suzuki BHI
17
BHI
5
OUL
2
OUL
1
CRO
2
CRO
3
THR
4
THR
3
KNO
2
KNO
Ret
SNE
1
SNE
3
OUL
Ret
OUL
C
BHGP
4
BHGP
3
BHGP
2
CAD1 CAD1 CAD1 DON
1
DON
1
SIL
1
SIL
3
BHGP
3
BHGP
12
BHGP
3
2nd 6452 [17]
1.^ – Hopkins was not entered for the Cadwell race due to an injury he sustained during his wildcard ride for Suzuki at the Moto GP event in Brno.[18]
2.^ – Hopkins qualified for "The Showdown" part of the BSB season, thus before the Donington Park round he was awarded 500 points plus the podium credits he had gained throughout the season. Podium credits are given to anyone finishing 1st, 2nd or 3rd, with 3,2 and 1 points awarded respectively.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/454/9618/Motorcycle-Article/John-Hopkins-Interview--Jerez-MotoGP.aspx
  2. ^ http://www.visordown.com/motorcycle-racing-news-moto-gp/hopkins-battled-pain-with-alcohol/17677.html
  3. ^ http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/othersports/article-2046860/Hopkins-poised-American-winner-British-Superbike-Championship.html
  4. ^ "Kawasaki sign Hopkins from Suzuki". bbc.co.uk. July 12, 2007. Retrieved May 6, 2010. 
  5. ^ "John Hopkins set for difficult MotoGP comeback in Jerez". BBC Sport. March 28, 2011. Retrieved April 3, 2011. 
  6. ^ John Hopkins signs Stiggy Honda WSB deal - | Motorcycle Sport | WSB | BSB | MotoGP | TT & Road races | MCN. Motorcyclenews.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  7. ^ More Previews Of This Weekend's World Superbike Event At Misano News Article //. Roadracingworld.com (June 17, 2009). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  8. ^ Run over Hopkins avoids serious injury | WSBK News | Sep 2009. Crash.Net (September 7, 2009). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  9. ^ John Hopkins to race in MotoGP and American superbikes? - | Motorcycle Sport | MotoGP News | MotoGP Results | MCN. Motorcyclenews.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  10. ^ Wildcard rider pushes to a new track best. Worldsbk.com (July 30, 2011). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  11. ^ http://motomatters.com/news/2012/10/07/injury_forces_john_hopkins_to_take_a_yea.html
  12. ^ http://www.superbikeplanet.com/2012/Oct/121007b.htm
  13. ^ Hopkins confirmed for 2010 AMA Superbikes - Motorcycle news : Racing news. Visordown (February 1, 2010). Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  14. ^ Standings. Worldsbk.Com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  15. ^ The Superbike World Championship Official Site. Sbk.perugiatiming.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
  16. ^ http://results.amaproracing.com/live/results/pdfresults/rr/2010/10-barber/sbr2points.pdf
  17. ^ "Round 12 - Standings". Motor Sport Vision. October 9, 2011. Retrieved October 11, 2011. 
  18. ^ John Hopkins to miss Cadwell Park | BSB News | Aug 2011. Crash.Net (August 23, 2011). Retrieved July 26, 2012.

External links[edit]