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Hopkins rides to seventh with broken footpeg

Hopkins rides to seventh with broken footpeg

Hopkins rides to seventh with broken footpeg

John Hopkins´ colossal effort to finish seventh at Jerez yesterday was already being applauded across the world, before it emerged that the youngster had ridden with just one footpeg from the second lap. Hopkins was one of the stars of an early skirmish at the front of the pack but he paid the price for some daring manoeuvres as one of the two bolts holding the footpeg and gearshift unit sheared coming into contact with another rider, the collision also causing a three inch hole in his exhaust pipe. Most people would have returned to the pits at that point, but the plucky 19 year old kept going to equal his best ever finish in Grand Prix.

`Normally I take my foot off the peg to shift up, but I had to keep my heel planted, and it took a few laps to get used to that,´ explained Hopkins, who had qualified on the second row. `Apart from that, everything went pretty much to plan. I wanted to get a good start, and I got a good start. Then I did what I had to do to maintain position. A couple of people came by, but that gave me something to chase. Overall I´m pretty happy with the result. I wanted to improve, and we did.

Hopkins wore an afro wig on the grid, and explained that it had been part of a bet with his old team-mate Garry McCoy. `Me and Gazza had decided that whoever qualified on the second row first this season would have to wear the wig. I didn´t expect it to be me, but I was happy to go through with it. Hopefully Garry can be up there soon, although he will probably look better with the wig than his mohican!´

Hopkins and Team Suzuki this morning headed straight to Barcelona, where they will test with five riders - factory men Akioshi and Ryo joining new recruit Jean Michel Bayle, Hopkins and Kenny Roberts.

MotoGP, 2003, John Hopkins

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