Jan 14, 2010
© 2016, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
by David Swarts
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After seven seasons racing in the MotoGP World Championship and a partial season in the Superbike World Championship in 2009, it appears that Californian John Hopkins, age 26, will likely race a Suzuki GSX-R1000 with Team Hammer, Inc. in the 2010 AMA Pro American Superbike Championship.
"John will be testing with us at Auto Club Speedway February 2-3, and we're working on a deal for him to race the 2010 AMA American Superbike Championship on a Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R1000," said a team source.
The deal is a homecoming of sorts for Hopkins as he started his professional racing career with Team Hammer in 1999. The team put then-16-year-old Hopkins on an Aprilia Challenge Cup bike and based on his results on that bike entered him in AMA Supersport on a GSX-R600. After obtaining top-10 finishes that season, Hopkins went on to win the 2000 AMA 750cc Supersport Championship and the 2001 AMA (1000cc) Formula Xtreme Championship. In 2002, he moved directly to the 500cc GP/MotoGP World Championship.
More, from a press release issued by Team M4 Suzuki:
HOPKINS TO TEST WITH TEAM M4 SUZUKI AT FONTANA
Former AMA Formula Xtreme Champion and MotoGP star John Hopkins will test a
GSX-R1000 Superbike at California Speedway on February 2-3, 2010. Team Hammer,
which races as Team M4 Suzuki, is in negotiations to sign Hopkins to race the
2010 AMA Pro Racing American Superbike season for Team M4 Suzuki.
"We're excited about having the opportunity to test with a rider the caliber of
'Hopper' and about the possibility that he might race with us in 2010," said
Crew Chief Keith Perry. "It's been several years since the team worked with
John and we had a lot of success together the last time. John went on to have
success in MotoGP and it's been nice to see him do well on the World
Championship scene. The team is hoping this test at Fontana will lay the
groundwork for a successful partnership with Hopkins in anticipation of working
together this upcoming season."
Hopkins, 26, won two AMA National Championships with Team Hammer, in 2000 and
2001, before beginning his World Championship career. Hopkins raced with Red
Bull Yamaha before joining the factory Suzuki team, then moved to Kawasaki
factory squad five years later. Last season, Hopkins raced with Stiggy Honda in