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Hopkins signs new deal with Suzuki

Hopkins signs new deal with Suzuki

Hopkins signs new deal with Suzuki

John Hopkins committed his immediate future to Suzuki at Valencia today, putting pen to paper on a new contract which will see him stay with the factory's MotoGP squad in 2005. Hopkins will line up alongside Kenny Roberts for the third successive season at Team Suzuki, which will be run by new Team Manager Paul Denning.

"I'm really excited about coming back with Suzuki next season," said Hopkins. "The team made major improvements to the bike this year and if we can continue that I think we can be a real contender next year."

The 2004 season has seen the 21-year-old Hopkins come of age in more ways than one, scoring his first front-row qualifying position with second on the grid at Motegi and his best ever result with sixth place in Portugal. During the second half of this season Hopkins has built momentum that has solidified his position as one of rising stars in the World Championship.

"I signed just before lunch today and it lifted a big weight from my shoulders," he continued. "Suzuki's commitment to its racing department is tremendous and we have new people coming on board with the team bringing fresh ideas to the table."

Hopkins added that he is particularly looking forward to working with Denning, who takes over from Garry Taylor in 2005 and met up with the team for the first time in Valencia this week.

"Paul is really motivated," Hopkins explained. "He's determined to see the team put in the effort it needs to be successful. He seems on the ball and ready to go. The team's momentum is already rolling this year and I'm optimistic that we'll take it to the next level in '05." Denning added: "Suzuki had some hard decisions to make for our rider line-up, for a variety of reasons. In the end, we dec ided that performance had to be the most important criterion and therefore we chose to stay with John.

"He is the youngest rider on the grid and this year we've seen how he has gained experience in his riding and with the Suzuki GSV-R's many technical parameters.

"We believe John has the potential to be one of MotoGP's brightest future stars and as Suzuki improves, we hope we can grow together,"


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