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Hopkins sprigs to life at Shanghai

Hopkins sprigs to life at Shanghai

Hopkins sprigs to life at Shanghai

Team Suzuki MotoGP rider John Hopkins qualified in a fantastic fourth place for the Taobao Grand Prix of China tomorrow after recording at fastest lap time of 2'00.666.

After only managing to take 14th place at Jerez and finishing "not classified" at Estoril, the fourth place start tomorrow suggests that the American rider has put his bad experiences of the season behind him and has made some real progress.

"I'm quite pleased with my position. It's a shame I didn't get on the front row because I know that was achievable.

"Fortunately it was dry this afternoon, but unfortunately it was the only clean session we had with plenty of grip. We needed more time to practice and get the set-up right and run more race tyres. We only had half a session on Bridgestone race rubber and like all the other riders we spent most of this afternoon on qualifiers. I'm almost sure of what tyres I will use in the race though and that is a positive thing.

"In my mind, if I can keep my Suzuki GSV-R and the Bridgestone tyres up the front from the start, I'll be doing all I can to stay there. It's now just a question of what the weather will do, I would prefer it dry but if it's wet I want it full wet and not half and half like yesterday."

Hopkins' Chief Technician Stuart Shenton was pleased with the Anglo-American's performance. He said: "It was a good effort by John and it was a shame that another rider got in the way on his out lap as I'm sure it would have been even better.

"We now have a good choice of Bridgestone tyres for race day, but we have too wait and see what the weather does.

"John and I are happy with the set-up for the bike and we will also now look at the data we have collected from today's session to see if we can make anymore improvements for the race."


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