The Stiggy Racing Honda Team announces that their Superbike rider John Hopkins will be out of competition for the remainder of the 2009 World Superbike Championship following a crash he sustained in the 11th round of the series in Germany last week.
Hopkins suffered a severe head trauma when he came down in a horrific way on the opening lap of the first superbike race at the Nurburgring. Initial scans in the local hospital showed no serious injuries, but further examination in the United States revealed that John had suffered a severe head trauma, as well as wrist, shoulder and hip injuries. Hopkins has successfully undergone surgery in the United States, but will be forced out of action for at least eight weeks, which brings a premature end to the unfortunate American’s first season in the World Superbike Championship.
The Stiggy Racing Honda Team has chosen not to field a substitute rider and will bring Leon Haslam – who currently sits sixth in the rankings – as their sole competitor on the grid for the remaining three rounds in the World Superbike Championship.
“I travelled back to the United States on Monday and spent Tuesday undergoing MRI scans on my head, my left shoulder, right wrist and my hip. My doctor [Dr. Ting] reviewed the scans and found a big bruise and bleeding on the brain. I had to see a Neurologist to determine the severity of the condition and he has confirmed the bruise on the brain, but no further bleeding. My shoulder has tendon and ligament damage which require surgery, as well as my wrist. For the next six to eight weeks I have been instructed to rest and then I will need another scan to see if the bruising in my head has gone. These weeks should be enough for my body to get back to normal, get the bones back in order and get my stamina, strength and overall fitness back up to par, which in return should raise my confidence and hunger to win! All the injuries I sustained over the past year and a half have made it difficult for me to get into a constant training regime, and have left me with a mental disadvantage going into recent races. I wish my team all success for the remaining three rounds.”
Johan Stigefelt – Team Manager:
“I was very shocked when I found out about the severeness of John’s injuries today. Initially he was declared free of any serious injuries at the scene in Germany, but later tests have revealed a more serious trauma. It is very important for John to get well now and fully recover from his ordeal. We have decided that he will not participate in the last three remaining rounds, and that we will only bring Leon on the grid. It is a real shame to end a season in this way, with just one rider, especially after the great start we had. John has had a lot of bad luck since he joined the team earlier this season. I really wish he will recover soon.”