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Hopkins hoping to end Suzuki stay ahead of Vermeulen

Hopkins hoping to end Suzuki stay ahead of Vermeulen

Involved in a four-way battle for fourth place in the MotoGP World Championship, John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen will be putting friendship aside again, at one final race as team-mates in Valencia.

Involved in a four-way battle for fourth place in the MotoGP World Championship, John Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen will be putting friendship aside again, at one final race as team-mates in Valencia.

The Suzuki duo will be equally motivated to end the year with a victory as Talmacsi and Faubel in the 125cc class, with Hopkins in particular having a special driving force for success.

The Anglo-American is participating in his final Grand Prix for Suzuki, having ridden 81 races for the team since joining them in 2003. Earlier this year it was announced that he would be switching to Kawasaki at the end of the season, although Hopkins' mind is not wandering that far ahead with some unfinished business for the boys in blue.

"This is going to be an emotional weekend for me, but I won't let that distract me from what I've got to do," he explains. "I want to finish as high as I can in the championship and be the number one Suzuki rider for this year. I want to go out on a real high and give my crew and Suzuki a big thank-you for everything they have done for me. Valencia is a special place with an amazing atmosphere and I would love to be the one who sets off the fireworks at the end of the race!"

Set to continue with Suzuki for a third season, alongside new addition to the team Loris Capirossi, Vermeulen will begin testing with the 2008 GSV-R800 in an extended stay after the race. The Australian is a fan of the circuit, but had an embarrassing tumble last year at low speed - for which he is keen to make amends.

"There is still plenty to do this season and it is important for me, the team and Suzuki to finish as well as we possibly can at Valencia. I had a bit of bad luck in the race last year and ran off, when I felt I was going quite well," says Vermeulen. "We got some testing after the race and it is a track I really enjoy so I am looking forward to going back there. Although this is the last race of 2007, it is also a step on the road to what we can achieve next year and we must work as hard as we can here and not just wait for the testing to start."

Tags:
MotoGP, 2007, GRAN PREMIO bwin.com DE LA COMUNITAT VALENCIANA, John Hopkins, Chris Vermeulen

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