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Hopkins: German battle was harder than riding in the rain

Hopkins: German battle was harder than riding in the rain

In the first race since his move to Kawasaki for 2008 was announced last week, Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins managed a solid seventh place finish in the heat of the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.

In the first race since his move to Kawasaki for 2008 was announced last week, Rizla Suzuki's John Hopkins managed a solid seventh place finish in the heat of the Alice Motorrad Grand Prix Deutschland.

The Anglo-American made a good start after qualifying fifth on the grid and was fighting for places near the front until the final few laps when tyre deterioration saw his pace drop in the latter stages.

Hopkins described the lack of grip as being comparable to riding in the wet and he was not alone in experiencing compound difficulties, as fellow Bridgestone riders Marco Melandri and Casey also found the going tough late on with track temperatures reaching 55°C on a scorching Sachsenring afternoon.

The points from his seventh place finish kept Hopkins fourth in the general classification and after the race he explained: "I got a good start and after the first turn battle for positions I got away clear and with the front guys. I got into a good rhythm, but made a couple of mistakes and lost a bit of ground to the riders in front of me. I kept my head down and tried to ride as smoothly and efficiently as I could while still doing the lap times, because I knew it was going to be a hard, long and hot race."

"With about seven laps to go we ran into some tyre problems and we were really struggling for edge grip – especially on the left-handers. I then got into a battle with Melandri and Stoner and I've got to say it was the strangest race I've ever been in - at the end, with the lack of rear grip - it was harder than riding in the rain! I have extended my fourth place lead a little bit and now I am looking forward to going to America and giving it all I've got!"

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, ALICE MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX DEUTSCHLAND, John Hopkins

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