After a three-week summer break, the MotoGP roadshow rolls into town this coming week at Brno in the Czech Republic for the 11th round of the championship. And Rizla Suzuki will have not one but two bikes on the starting grid with Alvaro Bautista supported by the vastly experienced John Hopkins. The American will be racing in his third championship in successive weekends having ridden in the British and World Superbike races.
Hopkins spent seven seasons in MotoGP between 2002 and 2008 with a best performance of fourth overall in the 2007 Championship. Having spent five of those seven seasons with Suzuki it’s no great surprise that Hopkins will be riding for them in Brno, particularly as the American substituted for Alvaro Bautista at the Jerez MotoGP when the Spaniard was unable to ride because of a broken leg. Hopkins finished a creditable 10th in that race.
The Suzuki team has made much progress this season and they’ll be hoping for good rides from Hopkins and in particular Alvaro Bautista. Having finished seventh in the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring, Bautista was challenging for sixth spot at Laguna before crashing out on lap 14.
The build up to the Czech Republic Grand Prix gets underway this Friday (August 12) with the first practice day at the Brno circuit.