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Hopkins laments cylinder breakdown

Hopkins laments cylinder breakdown

Hopkins laments cylinder breakdown

John Hopkins has revealed that his breakdown just seven laps from the end of Sunday's Gran Premi Gauloises de Catalunya was down to a cylinder breakdown. Hopkins' Suzuki GSV-R fell down to two cylinders and he was forced to pull off the circuit and park the bike, ending a weekend that left the young American with mixed feelings of both hope and frustration.

"I knew with the tyre situation being what it was that I was going to have a challenge this weekend," said Hopkins. "I got off to a decent start and found myself in a good group of riders. I established a good rhythm out there, which is something I haven't been able to do in some time.

"As the race shook out I was tucked in behind a good battle between my team-mate Kenny Jr. and Nicky Hayden. About halfway through the race I decided to pick up the pace and try to close in on those two and that's when Nicky's bike blew up in front of me.

"Then I regrouped and was going to try to get up with Junior and I heard something a little strange in the motor. On the next lap as I powered down the front straight the bike went down to two cylinders and I just pulled off, leaned the bike on the wall and walked back to the pits."

Hopkins added that he enjoyed his race while it lasted and says he is looking forward to the next round at Assen as he continues his recovery from a broken thumb.

"The tyres we ran were so hard that I was spinning it up everywhere," he explained. "That was really pretty fun. The computer showed that the rear wheel was spinning as much as 59 kph (37 mph) faster than the front exiting nearly every turn."

"Even though this weekend ended badly I feel we came away with some positives. Qualifying proved Suzuki is really beginning to make positive strides. I think we had a top ten finish in the works before the engine problems. By Assen, Bridgestone will have some time to get the tyre issues sorted out and I'll have a few weeks to heal."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRAN PREMI GAULOISES DE CATALUNYA, John Hopkins

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