Aug 1, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Red Bull Yamaha WCM Racing Director Peter Clifford followed his trip to the Brainerd AMA National last weekend with a trip to San Diego, California to meet with John Hopkins, his mother, Linda, and his agent, Doug Gonda, on Monday.<BR><BR>From San Diego, Clifford traveled to Santa Monica to meet with Red Bull officials on Tuesday, then flew to Wyoming to meet with World Championship Motorsports boss Bob MacLean.<BR><BR>Clifford and the WCM team are normally based in Austria during the Grand Prix season. The team will campaign YZR500 Yamahas in the GP1 (now known as 500cc Grand Prix) Championship in 2002.<BR><BR>Due to contractual gaurantees made to current riders for the Yoshimura Suzuki AMA team, Hopkins is third or fourth in line for a shot at a Suzuki GP ride, and all of Suzuki's AMA Superbike slots are full until 2003. Hopkins has declined a standing offer from his current AMA team, Valvoline EMGO Suzuki, to remain in the Formula Xtreme and 600cc Supersport classes for another year.<BR><BR>Hopkins has had offers from several AMA Superbike teams, as well as inquiries from World Superbike teams. However, Hopkins' dream has long been to compete in 500cc Grand Prix with a competitive team.<BR><BR>Hopkins' talks with WCM concerning 2002-2004 are ongoing.