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Jan 19, 2011

Hopkins To Race British Superbike Championship For Crescent Suzuki In 2011

Crescent signs John Hopkins for BSB 2011

The Crescent British Superbike team is delighted to have secured the services of Anglo-American star John Hopkins for the 2011 BSB Championship. 'Hopper' will ride Crescent's 2011 GSX-R1000 Superbike and will begin testing in Cartagena, Spain, in early March.

Hopkins finished fourth in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship on a Suzuki and will be renewing a strong bond that was formed with Crescent during his time with the MotoGP team. Hopkins was born in Ramona, California but regards himself as half-British because both of his parents originated from London. He has always been proud of his UK heritage and races with the Union Flag on his leathers.

The 27-year-old racer is now back to full fitness following corrective wrist surgery last season to save his career, which was so successful it enabled him to make a late-season comeback, also on a GSX-R, in the American Superbike Championship and secure podium finishes.

Crescent will make a separate announcement regarding the team's title and secondary sponsors in due course.

John Hopkins:

"I'm totally stoked about coming to Britain to race with Crescent in BSB, as this will feel a bit like coming home because I have so many friends and family over in the UK. I'm 100% fit now and this will give me a great a great chance to prove that I'm still able to be competitive at the highest level. I've always dreamed of winning the World Championship that's still my goal and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to get that ambition back on track. I haven't raced on many of the UK circuits, so that will be a big learning curve, but I'll be able to get to grips with them quickly and hope to be on the pace as soon as possible. The Suzuki's a great package, I know I can win races and obviously winning the title is the ultimate goal, so we'll have to see what we can do! I would also like to thank Paul and all at Crescent for giving me this opportunity to race in the UK and plan to repay their faith in me with some great results for the team."

Jack Valentine Team Manager:

"It's fantastic that we have been able to get a guy of John's talent to sign for Crescent. He is a great rider and always exciting to watch, plus he's tasted podium success in MotoGP, so he is certainly bringing great experience with him to the BSB grid. He's really focused on racing at the highest level and sees BSB as his stepping stone to get back to world level. The whole team is looking forward to working with John and we are all sure this is going to be a great adventure for all concerned."

Paul Denning Team Owner:

"I've never been as excited about a BSB season as I am about 2011 it's great to keep the team together and to be working with John again is a real opportunity. This isn't about money or politics for either of us it's about ambition and determination, and John is putting everything he can into this. It's been a tough couple of months for the BSB team, but the loyalty and support of so many partners and friends has been superb we're looking to repay them and I hope we add significantly to the excitement of the superb BSB series in 2011".




More, from a press release issued by British Superbike Championship organizers:

MOTOGP ACE JOHN HOPKINS SET TO STORM BSB

Former MotoGP star John Hopkins will make his debut in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship this season after sensationally signing for the Crescent Racing team in a bid to become the first rider from the USA to secure the title.

Hopkins has a long standing relationship with Paul Denning, the owner of the Crescent team. He rode for the Rizla Suzuki team in MotoGP under the management of Denning and in 2007 Hopkins took the team to an impressive four podium finishes on his way to securing fourth place in the world's premier motorcycle category whilst battling with the likes of Valentino Rossi and Casey Stoner.

Hopkins moved to the World Superbike Championship in 2009 with Stiggy Honda, but was sidelined through injury though he ended last season on a high with podium finishes in the American Superbike Championship and is now ready to make his mark on BSB.

"I am really looking forward to BSB and working with Crescent again, it will obviously be a different crew but I know they are a great group of guys and that will be a good foundation to start the season," enthused Hopkins.

"I have seen BSB races before and I know that there is some tough competition there, so I am excited to get started - especially as I haven't raced most of the other riders before. It is pretty much a level playing field in terms of the riders and their experiences, but that always makes for the best racing.

"Everyone says how close BSB is and I know that it will be the same this season, but I know I am joining one of the top teams and we will have been testing ready for the start of the championship.

"I wouldn't be coming to BSB if I didn't think I could be successful and I think it will be a better stepping stone for my future. The team had a great season last year and I am confident in them and the bike that we will be up there where we need to be," continued Hopkins.

He has a clear target ahead of him: "I have been told that no rider from the U.S has ever won a BSB race and it would definitely be nice to change that and make history at the same time for sure. I want to be up there from the get go - I want to get the maximum from both myself, the team and the bike to get results this year," said Hopkins.

BSB Series Director Stuart Higgs is delighted with the arrival of the high profile Hopkins: "Back in the 70s and 80s riders from the United States regularly graced the English circuits; legends such as Kenny Roberts, Randy Mamola and Freddie Spencer, so it is fantastic for BSB to restart that tradition. I'm sure John's arrival will be nothing short of spectacular."

That is a sentiment that Denning shares: "I've never been as excited about a BSB season as I am about 2011. It's great to keep the team together and to be working with John again is a real opportunity. This isn't about money or politics for either of us - it's about ambition and determination and John is putting everything he can into this. It's been a tough couple of months for the BSB team, but the loyalty and support of so many partners and friends has been superb. We're looking to repay them and I hope we add significantly to the excitement of the superb BSB series in 2011."

Advance tickets for the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship season opener over the Easter weekend (22-25 April) at Brands Hatch are on sale now by visiting www.brandshatch.co.uk or by calling 0843 453 9000.