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Hopkins halted by engine problem

Hopkins halted by engine problem

Hopkins halted by engine problem

John Hopkins revealed his disappointment after an engine problem with the Suzuki GSV-R robbed him of a potential best-ever fourth placed finish in the Gauloises Grand Prix Ceske Republiky. The Californian youngster had been second fastest in the morning warm-up, backing up the lap record pace he showed in yesterday's free practice, but was always up against it as he worked his way through from the back of the pack.

"After the dry practices and again this morning I knew we could run the lap times of the front runners, but unfortunately I was starting from 21st position," said Hopkins. "I had to get a good start and get by as many as possible in the first lap. I ate, drank and slept that first lap from yesterday afternoon until the end of lap one, contemplating any situation that might arise.

"I didn't get a great launch, but I passed quite a few on the outside into Turn One, then some more under brakes and on the outside into Turn Three. I picked up about seven places right there.

"After that I was on a mission and I had to keep passing people as quickly as possible. Out of every corner I had my sights set on the leaders. I had a tight battle with Checa then I got held up a bit by Colin Edwards. But when I got behind him, that's when the bike started losing horsepower.

"I tried to carry on in case it was a little glitch, but then the engine stopped on the back straight. I had my sights set on the podium, and fourth would definitely have been achievable. I'm disappointed, but from now on we'll go to every race knowing we can run at the front."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GAULOISES GRAND PRIX ČESKÉ REPUBLIKY, John Hopkins

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