The Saga's Over: Hopkins AMA Deal Now Official

After a month of intense speculation about the fate of John Hopkins, and whether the American would be joining the brand new FB Corse MotoGP project or heading back to the US to ride for John Ulrich's Team Hammer in the AMA Pro series, Hopkins' destiny is finally sealed. Last night, the newly christened Team M4 Monster Suzuki issued a press release announcing that John Hopkins will be riding for the team in the American Superbike class in the US in 2010.

This announcement confirms the news reported by earlier this week that Hopkins would be going back to the US. Hopper himself had told the crowd at the Anaheim Supercross meeting that he was intending to race in the AMA. This was then reported on, to the apparent annoyance of John Hopkins' mother Linda, who posted a waspish rebuttal over on Hopper's own website.

As predicted, the team will be backed by Hopkins' personal sponsor Monster Energy. Hopkins will race alongside the promising Columbian Martin Cardenas aboard Suzuki GSX-R 1000s, and with a solid team structure and two talented riders, Team M4 Monster Suzuki will pose a serious title threat. After a disastrous 2008 aboard the Kawasaki, followed by a difficult and partial season on the Stiggy Honda in World Superbikes, Hopkins will be relieved to be able to go racing with a strong team on competitive material.

The full text of the press release is below:


John Hopkins has signed to race the 2010 AMA Pro season with Team Hammer, which will race as M4 Monster Suzuki. He will race American Superbike in 2010, joining the team's Daytona SportBike ace Martin Cardenas in a two-rider assault for the championship-winning team that first began racing in 1980.

Both Hopkins and Cardenas have Grand Prix experience and the M4 Monster Suzuki team looks to present its most aggressive challenge yet in AMA Pro Racing. While both racers already have garnered a remarkable amount of experience, they're just now entering the prime of their careers. Hopkins is 26 years old while Cardenas is 27.

Hopkins, born in California to British parents, raced for Team Hammer as a teenager and won the 2000 AMA 750 Supersport and 2001 AMA Formula Xtreme titles before joining the MotoGP circus with the WCM Yamaha team. In his first season in Grand Prix, "Hopper" impressed while racing a two-stroke against primarily four-stroke competition and his rise was chronicled in the movie Faster. The next season, John was signed to the factory Suzuki team at 19 years old. Hopkins raced five years with Suzuki before joining the factory Kawasaki MotoGP team for 2008. While in Grand Prix, John won a pole position, finished on the podium four times, twice earned fastest laps honors, and took fourth place in the 2007 MotoGP championship, proving himself to be one of the top riders in the globe's elite racing series during his seven seasons there.

Hopkins joined Stiggy Racing Honda to race World Superbike last year and flashed his enormous potential on occasion during an injury-hindered season.

"I'm really excited to be working with the team and (team owner) John Ulrich again. We had a lot of success when I raced with them at the beginning of my career and I'd like to thank Monster, M4 and all the rest of our sponsors for making it happen. I'm also happy to be back on a Suzuki motorcycle again. I'm feeling healthier than I have in a long time. I think my fitness level is up there with the way it was in 2007 and I'm looking forward to getting out there on the track and enjoying racing again," said Hopkins. "I have the chance to ride the bike a little bit today at a Fastrack Riders track day at Fontana and I'm really pleased. It is just a shakedown test but the bike feels really comfortable to me. My goals are to learn the bike and the tracks, have a healthy season, perform to the best of my ability, and see where that leaves us in the championship. I'm really happy to have a ride with a great team and be healthy again and I'm looking forward to having a good season."

"I have full confidence in John Hopkins and his abilities," said Team Hammer owner John Ulrich. "I really enjoyed working with John before, and I'm really looking forward to working with him again. There is no doubt in my mind that he knows how to ride a motorcycle, and now at age 26 he's got seven years of Grand Prix experience under his belt. With seven AMA Pro Racing Daytona SportBike race wins in 2009, Martin Cardenas has already demonstrated the potential created by putting a great rider with Grand Prix experience on a competitive motorcycle built by the Team Hammer crew in Alabama, and we're looking forward to creating the same situation with John. I am proud to welcome John Hopkins and his family back to the AMA Pro paddock and I am very excited to be fielding John in the AMA Pro Racing National Guard American Superbike Championship. With the combination of Martin Cardenas and John Hopkins on M4 Suzukis, we have an exciting opportunity to make great things happen in 2010."

John Hopkins on the M4 Monster Energy Suzuki in AMA


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Well that was a rather disappointing statement from Mama Hopper. But I should have expected as much from somebody dwelling in the 909.

I just hope John Hopkins is deciding his future by himself and not letting "mom" interfere in deciding what's best for him as a professional rider. I still believe MotoGP is the premier racing class in the world and going back to the AMA is a huge step back. FB Corse was a perfect opportunity to show everyone he still has what it takes.

Mamma Hopper should know better. MotoMatters is every time the first to know. She should come more often. I mean some riders find out they are hurt by reading MM!!

you know I think this is a good move for john. he hasn't won a race or podiumed in so long. he could win a championship... sometimes one just has to look reality in the face, he never got a proper shot in the gps, but he also made big mistakes himself. this could be a great way to unwind the past and get some good racing in and boost the confidence. it's not like he'll be wrestling 6year olds... and I'm sure the money is good.

it's a shame that, like everything else he does, it's a bit of an ugly situation.

btw, david, mama hopper is absolutely right. I mean, look at this entry! half of it is cut&pasted!!!

who does hopper half to beat?? his teamate??? is anyone else racing in the ama this season?......hahaha

You would think someone would get their facts straight (ie talk to her son!) before shooting their mouth off and looking like an idiot. But what do I know?

No Competition ???
Actually Cardenas will be contending for the Daytona Sportbike title. As far as no competition for Hopper, hardly the case. Josh Hayes on the Graves Yamaha, Tommy Hayden & Blake Young on the Yosh Suzukis, Ben Bostrom, Aaron Yates, Larry Pegram. Not a deep field but certainly not a cakewalk...

Cardenas is a serious talent. He should race well in 2010 and shop around for a place in Moto2 for the 2011 season.

Mladin himself told his rivals not to stay too long chasing and old f**t like him. If you want to race, go to Europe.

I'm still bothered by the cut and paste comment. I mean, the formatting is superb. isn't it?

i admire hayes, bostrom and the rest...not a hopper fan by any measure...i just cant stand our pathetic series...makes me wish i lived in europe

Is a giant ******** if you get my drift. She blew up his already inflated ego when he left the AMA a decade ago to go to GP racing. I used to run with the AMA in the mid to late 90s and Hopper always had this ridiculous chip on his shoulder and an inflated ego. He thought he was going to be the next great thing in GP racing. Because he was British you know. He never identified himself as American and even then it was "Anglo-American" He always hoped his parents nationality would be enough for people to take a chance on him. Ex-pat boy does good and all. You can see his disdain for other racers in how he talked about Nicky Hayden and what Hayden "should be doing on a Honda." I can without a shadow of a doubt say that the reason John thinks he isnt a World champion is because Valentino Rossi decided to show up. No its not Hop's fault, its Rossi's fault. Mama Hopper convinced him of that years ago.

Go glance over Hopkin's website and you see his mother runs it like Baghdad Bob ran the Iraqi Ministry of Information. No Americans here on our soil... If you disagree with me or speak your not 100% positive opinion about her little Johnny boy you get banned. If you dont tow the fan boy line you are banned. Ive never seen a racer accomplish so little and recieve so much fanfare.

The fan boys and his mom had the nerve to question and think its interesting that Hopkin's old flame Deseree did an article for Road Racer X. Simple petty jealousy. Johnny Boy isnt in GPs anymore, but its still his exclusive territory and Des has no reason to be there. Never mind that she has good friends there, no its John's exclusive territory. His mother successfully ruined his career. If Hopper was as great and as hard a worker as his mommy and his fan boys claim he would have gotten offers to ride for Honda, Yamaha and Ducati. But instead all he got was a paycheck and a half ass commitment from Suzuki and a bigger paycheck and no commitment from Kawi. If he was that good he would have been someone. His immature mouth, attitude and constant partying got him on everyone's bad side. This guy missed practice because he partied too hard the night before. Anyone watch the NBA? Allen Iverson missed practice and his justification was "We talkin bout practice. I mean... Practice!!! We talkin bout practice!!" Im sure Johnny wanted to do the same press conference. Anyone remember who his best friend in the GPs was? Alex Hoffman. Another one of those gifts from god that got a "raw deal." No it had nothing to do with retiring from a race with points on the table or your general piss poor attitude.

The thread on his website where she bashes motomatters is deleted by the way. Or something is missing. Says something was deleted. I havent seen anything bad about her said on this website... Until I decided to open my mouth. Other than saying that she runs his career. Which she does. The truth hurts doesnt it Linda? She runs his love life too. Poor Desi was never good enough for baby John in his mommy's eyes. She was always at the races when she didnt have commitments of her own. Which momma Hop never approved of. 100% behind Hopper or you are out!!! So instead he married some young blond bimbo. He is going to bouce seat to seat, year to year to keep those Monster Millions rolling in. I remember when he broke it off with Desi, it was so he could focus on his racing full time. Then all of a sudden he is proposing to his new gf? Give me a break.

The best part is that Hop wont win in the depleted AMA series either. Hayes will win with some competition from the Yoshi Suzukis. Either way Im viewing this year in the same way everyone will view the year after Rossi leaves GPs. Well would he have won if Rossi was still there? Hayes started to come on against Mladin late in the year so maybe. Ill have to watch a bit of it on fast forward. Hop wont finish higher than 4th.

Here is my final word on Hopkins. Good riddance to bad rubbish on the world scene. The end of a washed up never was's career. Hopkins wasnt even a has-been. He is a never was. Thank momma Linda Johnny Boy! She did a great job managing your manager and screwing up your career.

And just to clarify, because after rereading this post it comes across as a hater. No, Im not jealous that I didnt make it out of the AMA. I got an education with the money I made and I love to ride and watch racing on the weekends. Do I wish I got to travel around the world on someone else's dime? Sure. But racing as a job is stressful. The fun leaves when someone pays you a salary and the stress sets in. I dont miss that at all. Ride is cathartic for me now and I wouldnt trade that for anything in the world.

...tell us how you really feel.

If half of it was the truth, it seems fitting.

But I always believe in second chances.

which then for me beg's the question, do you or anybody else (Mr. K) know what was they real reason he didn't front for practice at that race in Italy (can't remember which round, old age setting in). or is it not to be spoken about for fear of attack by the members of the legal sort. Love this site and and the comments, and this post is a classic. Ta Very Much.

This post has been edited to remove the most offensive parts of it. It is right on the borderline of what is acceptable on, but contains enough genuine background information to avoid getting deleted. We do not and cannot condone any of the views expressed in the above comment, and would warn members that we may remove posts at our discretion. A more moderate tone is infinitely preferred here.

I didn't get to read that post before it was edited. I am quite interested in who this DK is, and as the post stands now, I'm glad you didn't delete it.

Hopper is all Linda has left of her husband, and it was his dying wish (so the story goes) that John develop as a racer. I'm not saying that her tragedy justifies her allegedly horrible treatment of negative press, but it probably explains it. Her well-being might be intertwined with her son's success as a motorcycle racer now that her husband is gone.

I don't know her personally so I'm just taking guesses.

Knowledge is nothing without understanding, right? Everything I've heard about her is overwhelmingly negative, but does anyone understand why she psycho? :-P

I'm happy Hopper is back in the AMA. While I don't think John is a favorite for the title this season, I hope he and the remaining guys are able to rebuild the series and make a healthy sum of money doing it. Long way to go.

It's the motomatters version of ONTD ;-)

Don't give a toss about Hopper (although I don't wish his recent injuries on anybody) but mummy Hopper made me chuckle with her ignorant comment- and the rest of that thread is pretty funny too.

I'm not sure of the history behind some of negative viewpoints posted regarding JH but I for one wish him well this coming season, I met him once in a petrol station and he was a thoroughly nice guy, so what if his Mum is a plum, many are out there, case in mind is my ex-mother-in-law :)