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Hopkins out of key Valencia test

Hopkins out of key Valencia test

Hopkins out of key Valencia test

John Hopkins' preseason MotoGP preparations have been dealt another blow with the news that he has been ruled out of Team Suzuki's upcoming test at the Valencia circuit this weekend. Hopkins, who has missed the team's last two tests at Sepang and Phillip Island after injuring both of his ankles in a Supercross meeting, was due to fly into Europe last weekend to take in the first round of the World Superbike series at the Spanish circuit before returning one week later to join up with a host of MotoGP teams pencilled in for a two-day session. However, he was forced to cancel the trip when he got a surprise phone call from the team.

"Basically Garry Taylor and the team physio decided that they didn't want me at the test unless I was 100% fit which, to be fair, I am not yet," commented the 20 year old. "It is frustrating because obviously I would rather be riding but I have to respect their decision. It's hard having to read up about what's going on at the tests without being there because I can see that Suzuki are making swift progress and I want to be a part of that. If it was up to me I would be there, but I just have to look forward to the official test at Barcelona and make sure I'm 100% ready for that."

Hopkins has tested once this preseason, at Sepang at the end of January, but admits his fitness is suffering from a lack of action. "I've lost some weight over the past few weeks because I really haven't been able to do anything and my upper body strength has suffered, but I'm back doing weights and plenty of cycling so it shouldn't take me long. As I said before, I know I am not 100% but I feel fit enough in myself to ride which is why it is so frustrating to have to sit this one out."

Despite the disappointment of losing out at Valencia, compounded by the fact he missed the chance to watch his good friend Garry McCoy take a 7th and a 6th at the opening round of the WSB series, Hopkins does plan to cheer himself up this weekend by attending one of the most prestigious dates on the Amercian motorcycling calendar. "I'm going to take my mind off things by flying down to Florida to watch the Daytona 200 and Superbike race," he said. "It's not something I get to do often so I'll just get down there and enjoy myself, catch up with a few friends before focussing 100% on being ready for the next MotoGP test at Barcelona."

MotoGP, 2003, John Hopkins

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