Friday, March 30

IMOLA SWC: SUZUKI HAS HOPKINS BACK

Hopkins and Crescent Fixi Suzuki looking forward to Imola
The Crescent Fixi Suzuki is looking forward to Round Two of the 2012 World Superbike Championship at Imola, where the the team will be back to full strength.
John Hopkins has been given the all-clear by his hand surgeon in USA and flew to England this past weekend, and will joining team mate Leon Camier at the Italian track, to make his 2012 race debut.

John Hopkins
“I am so pleased to get the all-clear and cannot wait to get on the bike again. I had been given strict instructions not to do any riding this week, which has been a bit frustrating, but I have occupied my time well with physiotherapy, training and numerous spells in the hyperbaric chamber. All of this has helped me to recover quickly and I have no doubt that I will be as fit as can be in Imola. It’s been very busy recently. On Tuesday, I was in the hyperbaric chamber and then drove three hours each way to see my nutrition doctor in Palm Springs. Before that I have really been putting in the hours on my mountain bike and also on the cardio machines in the gym. I am really happy with my hand, how well it has been healing and the range of movement I have got. When I saw the doc on Wednesday, he told me that the bone was fully healed and everything was OK and I could start riding again! I’m hoping to get on my dirt bike before leaving for UK on Saturday, but I have just sold my house and there’s loads of stuff to sort out, but I’ll try and fit in a ride somehow. I am really looking forward to catching up with everybody at Crescent Fixi Suzuki and getting back to to the racetrack. I’ve missed it, but I feel ready and raring to go.”

Leon Camier
“It seems a long time since Phillip Island, so I’m really looking forward to Imola and being back on track again. The last time I raced in Imola, I ended up on the podium and that’s a memory I’d like to repeat. I am happy with the chassis and base set-up we found in Australia, so we’ll try and build on that in the first practice session and keep improving. The first race of the year is always a bit difficult, but I feel we came away with a lot of good feedback and information and we will use that to make the Crescent Fixi Suzuki better. I’ve been training hard recently, doing a lot of cycling and feel in really good shape. Now, all I want is to get back on the bike and start racing again.”

Jack Valentine (Team Manager)
“Since Phillip IsIand, we’ve been poring over all the data and working on improving the bike. Leon was pretty happy with the chassis and base set-up, so we’ve been looking at other things - including improving tyre wear. John’s crew chief, Lez, spent some time in Yoshimura Japan after Phillip Island, sharing some data and ideas to improve the Crescent GSXR. They found a couple of areas where improvements can be made and the first practice at Imola will give us a chance to see how these ideas make the bike feel. Obviously we’re all delighted to have John back with us and it gives the whole team a boost. From what his doctor says, the hand should be more or less at full strength. I would like John to take the first day or so in Imola steadily, build up gradually and get race fit as soon as he can - without any stress. I am looking forward to Imola and a positive weekend, with good, solid results."