Hopkins Getting Reaquainted

Paul Carruthers | March 3, 2010

Team M4 Monster Suzuki’s John Hopkins spent most of today reaquainting himself with the high banks of Daytona International Speedway and learning an infield section that he’d never ridden on before. After two sessions, the Californian was seventh fastest but he wasn’t worried.”It’s different. It’s a different layout,” Hopkins said. “It’s kind of like Sachsenring – real tight, first gear and then it just opens up. I’ve never ridden this layout so I’m just learning the track and just trying to get it down. We’re having some issues with the bike right now with engine braking and stuff, but it’s good. For what problems we do have, they’re quite easily fixable and I think we’re alright. It’s just about fine-tuning it and this afternoon was basically just learning the track and working on my lines. I followed Blake Young for a little bit… and we’re fine. If I get into a group or got into follow somebody, I’d be able to shave the time off. We’re alright.”Hopkins’ best lap came in this afternoon’s cold and clear session, the 1:40.723 almost a second and a half better than his morning time.The last time Hopkins raced at Daytona was in 2001 and his lone victory at the Speedway was in the 750cc Supersport race in 2000 – on the old infield layout.Foremost Insurance Ducati’s Larry Pegram led this afternoon’s session, bettering his leading morning time and ending the day with a 1:39.039. Graves Motorsports Yamaha’s Josh Hayes was second, again, with his 1:39.550.Three more riders were able to lap in the 1:39s with Michael Jordan Motorsports’ Aaron Yates, Rockstar/Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden and Pat Clark Motorsports’ Ben Bostrom less than a second behind Pegram.

Practice Times

1.                  Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:39.039

2.                  Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:39.550

3.                  Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:39.638

4.                  Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:39.660

5.                  Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:39.894

6.                  Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:40.067

7.                  Brett McCormick (Suzuki) 1:40.584

8.                  John Hopkins (Suzuki) 1:40.723

9.                  Jake Zemke (Suzuki) 1:40.725

10.                  Shawn Higbee (Buell) 1:41.271

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.