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Old 11-19-2011, 07:36 AM   #46
yooperbikemike OP
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HOPKINS TO CRESCENT SUZUKI FOR WSB

Team Suzuki Press Office - November 19.

Crescent Suzuki has retained the services of Californian John Hopkins for 2012, as he completes the two-man line-up for the team's World Superbike challenge.

Hopkins competed in the British Superbike championship for the UK based Crescent team in 2011 and has now put pen to paper to link-up with the team once again on the world stage.

Hailing from Ramona in California, but with English parents, Hopkins is still recovering in America, following surgery on a finger he damaged at Brno in the Czech Republic earlier this season whilst on MotoGP duty, but will be totally fit and focused in time for pre-season testing next year. He had a successful first season with the Crescent Suzuki team, narrowly missing out on the BSB championship at the last race of the year and he will now relish the chance to compete against the world's best Superbike racers on circuits where he has plenty of experience.

Hopkins will be joined at Crescent Suzuki by former BSB champion Leon Camier, whose addition to the team was announced last month. Camier will begin testing the Crescent Suzuki 'Powered by Yoshimura' GSX-R1000 at Portimao in Portugal later this month, with Hopkins joining him in the tests in early 2012. The first race of next year's calendar is scheduled for Sunday 26th February at Phillip Island in Australia.

John Hopkins:

"I am really happy to be joining up with the Crescent guys again. We had a great year in British Superbike and I'm sure we can continue that in WSB. I wanted to get back into world championship racing and this is a natural progression from last year. The difference this time is that I will be going to tracks that I already know and have some reference from, so that should make some things a bit easier.

"I know it's going to be a big step, but with some big technical advances and Yoshimura on board, I'm sure the bike will be fully competitive. It will be great to work with Lez Pearson again, as we built up a strong relationship and his understanding of the way the bike works will be invaluable next year.

"I'm also looking forward to riding with Leon. I'm sure he'll be strong next year and will be a difficult team-mate to beat and also one who will push me to the limit.

"I want to say thanks to Paul, Martyn, Jack and everyone at Crescent Suzuki for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. I can't wait to get on the bike and see what we can do. I know it's not going to be an easy task by any means, but I have every intention of going out and trying to earn my first ever world championship for myself and the team. I'll be doing everything in my power to make it happen."

Jack Valentine - Team Manager:


"It's great to have John back onboard for next year and a real boost for the whole team that he has chosen to ride for us. He is a class act, not only for Crescent Suzuki, but for the whole Superbike series as well. The crowds will love him.

"I enjoyed working with him this year and, although he rode in the last three events with a severely injured finger, he only just missed out on the championship. That is history now and I look forward to continuing the relationship and building on what we achieved this year. I'm sure with what he learnt in BSB, and his experience on the tracks we will visit next year, that he will be able to get some spectacular results.

"I know he's really fired up for this and I'm looking forward to some exciting times. I cannot wait to see him and Leon out there next year."
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:17 AM   #47
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:28 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by yooperbikemike View Post
HOPKINS TO CRESCENT SUZUKI FOR WSB
Better than good - AWESOME!

Though it does beg the question: does this mean Suzuki screwed over Francis Batta, the guy who delivered them the world championship in '05, and almost did it again in '10?
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Old 11-19-2011, 10:56 AM   #49
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Me happy too. I want to see him dicing Max, Melandri, Carlos, Ayoma and the boys. He'll be a legit contender for the title, even if the bike starts slow. Hopefully they can make 2 rounds in the USA.

WSB is going to be a great series in 2012 despite the economy for sponsors.
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:18 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by spezjag View Post
Better than good - AWESOME!

Though it does beg the question: does this mean Suzuki screwed over Francis Batta, the guy who delivered them the world championship in '05, and almost did it again in '10?
Well, there is some Suzuki loyalty owed Denning too. He is Crescent Suzuki and ran their 500 and MotoGP teams as his primary duty. He delivered Suzuki their last premier class title in 2000 with KRjr. I'm not a big Denning fan, but if you have to pick one, he's probably the guy to take their WSB effort over. He's going to be a force too.

Denning gave Hopper the BSB chance to make his remarkable comeback; got him a WSB wildcard shot, where he truly shined; and gave him his back-up rides in MotoGP this season. After all that, I think it's safe to say Hopper is the hottest property Suzuki had behind Alvaro Bautista. If there is no MotoGP opportunity and Hopper wants to ride WSB, he's not going to start yet another new relationship with Francis Batta!

This is the best possible outcome for Hopper, Yosh and Suzuki. They'll make their mark. Francis Batta should have seen it coming and in any event, consider other options. Maybe he wants a rest from racing... It's not like he's out of a job...
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Old 11-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spezjag View Post
Better than good - AWESOME!

Though it does beg the question: does this mean Suzuki screwed over Francis Batta, the guy who delivered them the world championship in '05, and almost did it again in '10?
Batta wasn't getting much support in the last few years from Suzuki. Crescent said that they developed their BSB bike in-house and there's no reason to believe that the WSBK bike will be much, if any, different.
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Old 11-19-2011, 12:15 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by yooperbikemike View Post
Batta wasn't getting much support in the last few years from Suzuki. Crescent said that they developed their BSB bike in-house and there's no reason to believe that the WSBK bike will be much, if any, different.
I agree. A big clue is the technical partnership with Yoshimura, who will be building the motors for Crescent. Not a whole lot of "Works" mentioned. Oh yeah, and Crescent lost Suzuki factory support too TAS in BSB last year. I'm pretty sure this is to continue in the coming year.
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Old 11-19-2011, 05:14 PM   #53
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I agree. A big clue is the technical partnership with Yoshimura, who will be building the motors for Crescent. Not a whole lot of "Works" mentioned. Oh yeah, and Crescent lost Suzuki factory support too TAS in BSB last year. I'm pretty sure this is to continue in the coming year.
Too cryptic for me. Exactly what are you saying about support? Crescent Suzuki was fast and barely missed in BSB. The same team was pretty awesome at Silverstone WSB too. So what is your clue?

Not challenging your view at all. Looking for more understanding. Thanks
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:14 AM   #54
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Too cryptic for me. Exactly what are you saying about support? Crescent Suzuki was fast and barely missed in BSB. The same team was pretty awesome at Silverstone WSB too. So what is your clue?

Not challenging your view at all. Looking for more understanding. Thanks
Think of it this way. Why go to Yosh for engines if you had Factory Works support?

Crescent Suzuki was pretty fast, but going into the year they were cut off from the Factory teet. TAS secured short circuit, roads, and MX Factory support across the board. One overall team for Suzuki, throught Suzuki GB, to deal with. This would indicate Suzuki had more faith, and confidence, in TAS over Crescent. As far as I know, that hasn't change.
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Old 11-20-2011, 04:03 PM   #55
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He delivered Suzuki their last premier class title in 2000 with KRjr. I'm not a big Denning fan ...
I am pretty sure Denning was not involved in KRJR's World Championship.
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Old 11-21-2011, 05:01 AM   #56
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I am pretty sure Denning was not involved in KRJR's World Championship.
I thought he was the fellow that recruited him! Who was that then?
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:30 AM   #57
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I thought he was the fellow that recruited him! Who was that then?
Garry Taylor?
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Old 11-21-2011, 07:47 AM   #58
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Garry Taylor?
I read an interview with KR in 1999 where he explained that the fellow running the Suzuki GP team recruited KRjr with his blessing because the 3 cylinder Roberts bike wasn't fast enough and was at the end of its development. I thought that person was Paul Denning, but maybe I am wrong. I vaguely remember workshops for both KR and Suzy were in England and maybe near eachother. When did Paul Denning start running Suzuki GP?
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Old 11-21-2011, 08:25 AM   #59
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When did Paul Denning start running Suzuki GP?
I want to say it was after 2004 or 2005; he had run the (very successful) Suzuki BSB team up to that point, and when Suzuki's long-time GP retired, Dennin was brought in to run the team. He is still affiliated with Crescent though, in some capacity. EDIT: He is indeed still affiliated with Crescent - his dad owns the place!
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:18 AM   #60
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Garry Taylor?
Yep.
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