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Hopkins unsatisfied despite career high

Hopkins unsatisfied despite career high

Hopkins unsatisfied despite career high

John Hopkins was unable to hide his delight at a first ever top six finish in MotoGP at the Grande Premio Marlboro de Portugal on Sunday but insisted there was much more to come between now and the end of the season.

With his Grand Prix future under close scrutiny, Hopkins has hit form at just the right time – recording his best ever qualification placing with sixth on Saturday and repeating the result in yesterday's race.

"It's my best MotoGP result so I am happy for that," said Hopkins. But we had a small problem that prevented me from doing better. I felt chatter all race that we didn't have any other time this weekend.

"After the race it was discovered that the rear tyre had slipped on the rim and caused vibration. It was a distraction, but I wasn't going to let it hold me back. I just ignored it as best I could and everything came out okay." Hopkins got a good jump off the line, but was swallowed up by the pack going into the first turn. "At a lot of tracks I'm able to overcome the lack of horsepower, but it was tough this weekend," he explained.

"We had the second slowest motorcycle in the field here so that's something Suzuki needs to address. The handling of the bike is awesome. If Suzuki can give us a little more power we'll be right where we need to be.

"I chased down [Carlos] Checa and actually made a pass on him at the end of the back straight, but I wasn't able to hold my line and he quickly got back by me."

In the end Hopkins followed Checa to the finish, 18.6 seconds behind race winner Valentino Rossi but satisfied at finishing as the top American. "It was a great weekend," he concluded Hopkins. "I'm happy for the team that they are finally getting to see results for all their hard work. We are definitely getting in a position to score even better in the upcoming races."

"I've got the package to get on the podium. I'm pleased with the direction we're going but I won't look at this year as a success until I meet a few more of my goals."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2004, GRANDE PREMIO MARLBORO DE PORTUGAL, John Hopkins

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