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Optimism outweighs disappointment for Hopkins

Optimism outweighs disappointment for Hopkins

Optimism outweighs disappointment for Hopkins

John Hopkins had a topsy-turvy weekend at Valencia, packed with excitement and emotion even before the track action got underway. With Team Manager Garry Taylor preparing for his final Grand Prix in charge, his replacement Paul Denning was on hand to oversee Hopkins sign a new contract with the squad for 2005, to stay on as team-mate to Kenny Roberts.

It was a timely boost for Hopkins, who has been in top form in the final few races of the season, although it certainly didn't propel him to the front in Sunday's race as he struggled to twelfth place from seventh on the grid. Despite his disappointment at the result, the youngest rider in the MotoGP class was able to reflect on another positive season of learning and was satisfied with his overall performance.

"Obviously I was disappointed with the result," Hopkins said. "I struggled finding grip in the race. I don't think I passed a single rider. It was just one of those days where you ride as best you can and take whatever finish that gives you. There was really nothing more I could do. In the end my goal was simply to finish.

"I want to give a special thanks to Garry Taylor who is leaving after so many successful years with Suzuki. Even though it's been tough at times this season the thing I'm taking away from this year is the improvement that was made on all fronts with the team during the second half of the year.

"I'm very happy about coming back with Suzuki next year. We've made so many strides and I feel we're going to keep moving in the right direction. The team made major improvements to the bike this year and if we can continue that I think we can be a real contender. "Paul (Denning) is really motivated. 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."

MotoGP, 2004, John Hopkins

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