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Hopkins heads home for further medical checks

Hopkins heads home for further medical checks

Following his crash during qualifying for the Dutch TT at Assen yesterday, Kawasaki´s John Hopkins this morning boarded a flight for Los Angeles, where he will undergo a further medical examination by Dr. Art Ting.

Hopkins crashed at 230km/h towards the end of the hour-long timed session after losing the front of his Ninja ZX-RR at Ramshoek corner, the ultra-fast left-hander just before the final chicane.

The Kawasaki pilot slid across the track and through the gravel trap before colliding feet first with the tyre wall on the outside of the corner. Unable to walk, Hopkins was transported to the medical centre by ambulance, where he underwent an initial examination by circuit medical staff.

X-rays of his injured left leg revealed that Hopkins had sustained a fracture to the bottom of his tibia and that he had also reopened a previous fracture, the result of a crash earlier in his racing career. The x-rays also showed a fracture to the lateral malleolus, which is one of the bones at the top of the ankle.

The medical staff also took x-rays of Hopkins´ left knee to check for possible compression injuries after the rider complained of stiffness and pain in the joint, but these x-rays were inconclusive.

Hopkins will undergo a bone scan in Los Angeles that should reveal if there is any additional damage to the lateral malleolus and the knee joint, both of which are difficult to x-ray effectively due to their proximity to other large bones in the leg and ankle.

Only after the full extent of his injuries are known will a decision be made as to whether Hopkins will race at the German Grand Prix at Sachsenring.

The initial opinion of Dr Claudio Costa of the Clinica Mobile was that, had Hopkins fractured the bones in his right leg and ankle instead of his left, then there was a good chance he could have been fit enough to ride in Germany.

Unfortunately it is the left foot that must be used to change gear up to 30 times on each lap, and for this reason there is only a slim chance that Hopkins will be fit to contest the tenth round of the MotoGP world championship in Germany, which takes place in just two weeks time.

MotoGP, 2008, A-STYLE TT ASSEN, John Hopkins, Kawasaki Racing Team

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