Hopkins Out Of Brno MotoGP Round With Broken Finger

After a busy few weeks of racing, with impressive performances in the BSB and World Superbike championships, John Hopkins' luck ran out at Brno on Saturday morning. The American, appearing at the Czech Grand Prix as a wildcard for Rizla Suzuki, crashed in very wet conditions, breaking one finger and fracturing another, ruling him out of further participation for the weekend.

Hopkins had posted a string of outstanding results, scoring a pole position, a 5th and a 7th as a wildcard in the Silverstone World Superbike round, then a couple of podiums the following weekend at Brands Hatch in BSB, where he is currently 2nd in the championship. His performance so far at Brno had been just as strong, setting the 7th and 10th fastest time in the first two sessions of free practice, well in touch with regular Suzuki rider Alvaro Bautista. But the tricky conditions on the entrance to Turn 3 - the same place that Casey Stoner crashed on Saturday morning - caught the American out and saw him ruled out through injury.

Hopkins will now return home to California, where he will undergo surgery to have the injury corrected.

Below is the official press release announcing Hopkins' withdrawal:

Hopkins out of Brno Grand Prix

Publish Date: Saturday, August 13, 2011

Rizla Suzuki's wild-card rider John Hopkins will be unable to compete in the rest of this weekend's proceedings at the Brno Grand Prix after crashing in this morning's practice.

Hopkins crashed at turn three on his sixth lap in the very wet and slippery conditions, and as he slid into the gravel his right hand sustained an impact causing a break and dislocation of his third finger and fracture of his second finger. He was immediately taken to the medical centre to have x-rays, where the injury was diagnosed and set in traction Hopkins will now return to America to have an operation to repair the injury as he aims to ensure he is fit for the next round of the British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park later this month.

Rizla Suzuki wishes him a speedy recovery and will update on his progress as more information becomes known.

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

"This morning's injury is a huge disappointment to all of us at Rizla Suzuki and of course mostly to John. He is completely devastated that he is not able to compete in the Grand Prix tomorrow, especially as his form yesterday was extremely promising. He was just building up to speed very gradually in the wet conditions and, on the first lap that he tried to push a little bit harder, he made a simple mistake and folded the front. It was on exactly the same corner that Casey had done the same thing at the start of the session, but John was just less lucky and as he entered the gravel trap the angle of his hand meant that the impact folded his fingers. This caused a substantial break to one finger and further damage to another. If the injury had been his left hand he would be on the GSV-R this afternoon, but to control a MotoGP bike and expect to be competitive with that injury to his throttle and braking hand is completely unrealistic.

"From the team, thanks to John for being so professional and a pleasure to work with this weekend. It was also great to have a two-rider team again and all the clear advantages that it brings. Despite what happened this morning I believe everybody in MotoGP was impressed with the potential shown here in Brno by John. I have no doubt that we will see him on a Grand Prix bike again in the near future."

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A lot of his bad luck has been very much of his own making though. It just goes to show how even a big points lead can be a very tenuous thing if the fickle hand of fate does not smile kindly upon you. What if it was Casey in a cast?

I hope Hopper heals up quick. I don't know when the next BSB round is but here's hoping he can grid up. The 2011 Hopper has proved quite a few doubters wrong (me included) with his new cleaned up act and determination. He deserves to stay in that title fight.

...it before, and I'll say it again: I'm so eternally, deeply glad for Hopper getting free of his addictions, and I wish him only the best in his endeavors. I've never been a HUGE fan, but he IS a rare talent, and as a fellow chronic pain sufferer, I have great EMpathy for what he has had to endure. It is genuinely tragic that a simple low-side resulted in this.

I'm praying that you recover, Hopper, and that your continued efforts are rewarded. Keep up the good work!

I know he has big dreams to win big in MGP. He has the talent and speed but some of the worst luck. Like Pedrosa, alway close to getting what he wants though alway something in the way. Maybe he should accept WSB where he has the possibilty to actually win. Hello Aprillia! (just a thought).

Hopkins has never lived up to any of his hype. His is constantly injured, like his old team mate Chris Vermeulen and ruined his previous MotoGP chances by drinking, acting stupid and not showing up. He never won anything in MotoGP.