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Hopkins fights flu to take fourth at Jerez Friday practice

Hopkins fights flu to take fourth at Jerez Friday practice

Hopkins fights flu to take fourth at Jerez Friday practice

Team Suzuki MotoGP racer John Hopkins not only battled against the other riders on Friday during the first free practice day at Jerez, the young American was also up against a severe bout of the flu and still managed to register the fourth quickest time - 1'40.934.

Fighting his aches and pains, in tandem with some stiff competition, Hopkins managed to get within just two-tenths of the fastest time of the day - a time of 1'40.800 set by Honda rider Sete Gibernau. However, Hopkins was still not completely satisfied with the result and is determined to better it during Saturday's session.

Speaking directly after the second free practise session, Hopkins commented: "I'm a bit disappointed in my time today - we tried many types of tyres but never seemed to have the right ones in for the right conditions. It's nobody's fault, it was just such a guessing game with the way the track felt.

"I am personally feeling very low with a bit of flu - all my bones and muscles ache and I was having trouble breathing. I will get some good rest tonight and I know that I can better my time in tomorrow's qualifying."

Team Manager Paul Denning commented, "John showed that he is completely committed, despite his illness. He set a fast time on a soft compound tyre towards the end of the second session; the target now is to find the right balance on race tyres.

Meanwhile team-mate Kenny Roberts Jr finished in 14th place with a time of 1'42.138. According to the team though, many lessons were learnt and we can expect so see Roberts Jr excel during the final practice and qualifying session on Saturday.

"There's a lot more to come from both the bike, and from me, and I'll be doing my best to make a big step forward tomorrow" said Roberts Jr.

"Kenny made distinct improvements to his chassis in the first session compared to the recent test here, but had a difficult afternoon session. We've found out why and I'm sure he will be eager to bounce back for tomorrow," said Team Manager Paul Denning.


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