News 9 Aug 2011

Bautista welcomes Hopkins as two Suzukis get set for Brno round

Brno will see Hopkins join Bautista under the Rizla Suzuki tent.

Brno will see Hopkins join Bautista under the Rizla Suzuki tent.

Rizla Suzuki will resume the 2011 MotoGP season at Brno after the short summer break with a double-headed assault at the Czech Republic circuit.

Current team rider Álvaro Bautista will be joined by wildcard John Hopkins as he plans to continue with the good vein of form that he has shown in recent races.

Bautista looked to be heading for a top-six finish last time out at Laguna Seca, to follow his seventh at Sachsenring the weekend before, until a crash ended his hopes.

The Spaniard has grown in confidence over the last few events and is now showing the kind of form that he displayed in pre season testing, before a serious leg injury at the first race in Qatar halted his season before it had begun.

“The last two races have been very positive and I think as a whole we are in the best position we have been since I’ve been in MotoGP,” said Bautista.

“We need to continue with the progress we’ve made recently and the results will start to come.”

Hopkins will be making his second appearance of the year for the Rizla Suzuki team, after deputising for the injured Bautista at Jerez earlier in the season.

Hopkins is now full of confidence following a successful season so far in British Superbikes with the Samsung Crescent Racing team and a competitive outing at the recent UK round of the World Superbike Championships.

Hopkins last raced at Brno for Rizla Suzuki in 2007 when he recorded his best-ever finish in a Grand Prix of second, on his way to fourth overall in that season’s standings.

Bautista is excited to have Hopkins testing and racing under the same banner for the Czech round.

“I hope John has a good weekend and enjoys himself; it will be good to have him there as it will give us the chance to push each other along,” Bautista commented.

“I’m sure we can work well together to get a good setting for the GSV-R and it will be nice to have a team mate again.”

The Czech Grand Prix sees the MotoGP series commence the second half of the series, with the main event set to go down on Sunday August 14.