Friday, March 20, 2009
WSBK: John "Hopper" Hopkins to World Superbike
MotoGP staple John "Hopper" Hopkins will be crossing over to the World Superbike Championship just in time for the April 3-5 Spanish round at Valencia aboard a Stiggy Honda CBR1000RR, sources say, bringing along his major personal sponsors such as Monster Energy, Alpinestars, Arai and Spy Optics.
Previously under contract with Kawasaki Heavy Industries in the MotoGP series, the Californian was released when Kawasaki announced a sudden program pullout due to financial woes. Dorna pressure later resulted in a semi-factory effort fielding only one green bike (piloted by ex-Ducati man, Italian Marco Melandri).
Hopper's new teammate, Leon Haslam, has already shown the promise of the Stiggy CBR with a strong finish at Philip Island, however having missed 2 rounds (thus 4 races and several major tests), don't expect Hopper's Grand Prix background nor even his AMA titles to carry him to the front of one of the deepest talent pools in WSBK history without difficulty.
Hopper will first test his new ride next week via Almeria, Spain.
Posted by TMP at 9:40 AM