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Hopkins gets new engine

Hopkins gets new engine

Hopkins gets new engine

John Hopkins has finally been given the updated version of the Suzuki GSV-R engine which team-mate Kenny Roberts has been using since Catalunya. The American youngster used the new motor, which features a revised firing order for improved power delivery, in Friday's first practice session for the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix but struggled with set-up difficulties and could only manage the 16th fastest time.

"I have the new motor here and I like it a lot," confirmed Hopkins. "My problem at the moment is just set-up. I'm having a hard time with that right now and I can't get comfortable over the bumps. We've been trying everything – working to get any kind of set-up.

"Kenny (Roberts) is going well, so obviously it's possible. We're definitely not happy with where we're at and we have a lot of things to look at and think about for tomorrow."

Hopkins' team-mate Roberts was ninth fastest after competing for top spot throughout much of the session. "Overall, we're at a higher level than before," commented the former World Champion. "We have some new tyres here and it looks like on the tyre situation we are a bit more competitive than the last race.

"Again, Bridgestone needs time, but it seems to me they're making improvements every race. I've been working on trying to get a decent race setting for Sunday. We'll get the bike as best we can and find the best tyre for the distance, and hopefully with the race at 11am, the temperature will be a little in our favour - not so hot and the track won't be as greasy. That might be to our benefit."

MotoGP, 2004, John Hopkins

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