Mar 23, 2002
© 2014, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
(This original, copyrighted material may not be copied, cut and pasted, published or otherwise reproduced in any way in any medium, which means, don’t post this on another website or BBS. If you want somebody else to see this, send, share or tweet a link or post a link to this page.)
Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>About 40 friends and family members gathered Saturday afternoon at a GP Send-off party for young American John "Hopper" Hopkins, who leaves next week for Japan and the first MotoGP race of the 2002 season.<BR><BR>The party was hosted by Hopkins' mother, Linda, at the family's home in Ramona, California.<BR><BR>A film crew was on hand to interview notable figures in Hopper's racing career, for a film project documenting life on the Grand Prix circuit.<BR><BR>Attendees included Barry McMahan, Hopkins' mechanic during his AMA-Championship-winning 2000 (750cc Supersport) and 2001 (Formula Xtreme) race seasons, who flew in from Alabama for the event. Also present were Doug Gonda, Hopkins' manager; Al Lyons, the 50cc, 80cc, 125cc and 250cc team owner who took John Hopkins under his wing following the death of Hopkins' father, Roy, when Hopkins was about 12 years old; John Ulrich, owner of Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki, the team Hopkins rode for in 1999, 2000 and 2001; Iain MacLean, representing Red Bull Yamaha; racers Leigh Crawford and Chris Ulrich; and many family friends and associates from Hopkins' days as a young motocross racer.<BR><BR>A Red Bull bar was on site for the gathering.