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Hopkins celebrates first top ten of the year

Hopkins celebrates first top ten of the year

Hopkins celebrates first top ten of the year

John Hopkins celebrated his best result of the 2004 season after clinching ninth place in the Veltins Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland, his highest finish since taking seventh at Jerez 2003. Hopkins finished just behind team-mate Kenny Roberts, putting both Suzukis in the top ten for the first time this season despite suffering an allergic reaction to a bee sting prior to Saturday's qualifying session.

"We finally got into the top ten," reflected Hopkins, who spent Saturday evening in a medical care centre with an IV in his arm to treat the swelling in his left hand. "I didn't get a great start and that cost me early in the race. I was trying to work my way through the field and I got stuck behind Bayliss.

"He has totally different lines and his Ducati had just enough power to make it really tough to pass. He lost the front end and went down. Then I had a clear track and turned some good laps in the 24s. I caught up to a big group of riders that were having a good battle.

"Melandri high-sided and hit Abe. I had to sit up and wait for the bikes to slide off the track. I then had a good little race with Kenny, but the charging I did to catch the group earlier in the race used up my tires a bit and I started to get a front end push.

"I had a big gap back to Alex Hofmann, a lot of people were going down and I didn't want to take any unnecessary risks trying to pass Kenny so I brought it home in ninth."


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