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Hopkins in the points despite crash

Hopkins in the points despite crash

Hopkins in the points despite crash

John Hopkins revealed his disappointment after picking up a solitary point at the Cinzano Rio Grand Prix following a last-lap crash which saw the American run into the gravel during a high-speed battle with Kawasakis Alex Hofmann. Hopkins returned to the track to cross the line in fifteenth place but was left to rue what might have been.

I got into a little battle with Ruben Xaus early on and wanted to get by him as quickly as possible, said Hopkins, who now lies 19th in the rider standings. I moved past Xaus and then tried to chase down the next group in front of me. I made some mistakes trying to get up to them and that gave Hofmann the chance to gain on me.

Hofmann got past me and we continued the battle for the rest of the race. On the last lap I drafted him going down the back straight and was setting up to make my move. I thought about going low, but the track was a little dirty on the inside line so I decided to try to out-brake him on the outside.

Alex didnt know I was there and drifted out into my line and clipped me. My back wheel came off the ground and I ran off the track at a high rate of speed into the gravel trap. I hit the tyre barrier and fell over. I got back on the bike, rode back through the gravel trap and was able to finish the race.

Hofmann, meanwhile, admitted his surprise at Hopkins move, claiming he expected the American to take a different line into the corner. I was expecting John down the inside at the end of the straight, explained the German. As I prepared for the corner he came on the outside and we touched at 310km/h, and he went straight on. I´m sorry for that - I didn´t think he would go for the outside.´

Hopkins added that, as well as his planned pass on Hofmann, he also had his sights set on the riders in front of the German and a possible higher placing. In the process of our battle wed chased down Carlos Checa. I was hoping to get by both of them and score a top ten finish.

In the end it wasnt the result that I wanted, but I cant feel too bad since I came so close to a really good result. I didnt want any what-ifs to look back on so I did all I could to get the best possible result. No regrets.

MotoGP, 2004, John Hopkins

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