John Hopkins underwent reconstructive surgery on his right wrist yesterday and will consequently miss the next three rounds of the AMA American Superbike Championship. He will be replaced on the Team M4 Monster Suzuki team by Jake Holden at Infineon, Road America and Mid-Ohio.Hopkins had already undergone minor surgery following the Auto Club Speedway round and he raced at Road Atlanta after that. But things hadn’t progressed enough to rid the Californian of the pain, so he opted for major surgery.”Apparently, the surgery went well,” said Hopkins in a team release. “It was a complete reconstruction. What was happening was there was a bone-on-bone situation. My radius bone had been pounding into my wrist and bruising a bone. I had been going to a bunch of doctors and seen all kinds of specialists and they told me it wasn’t just going to end my racing career. It would cost me the bone in my wrist, too. We found a specialist in San Diego that’s done a procedure with another patient before and that patient had a 90 percent recovery. They went in and shortened the radius bone slightly and did some work with tendons and ligaments as well. I have a lot of confidence I’ll have a good recovery and the doctor told me, ‘In no way is this the end of your racing career.’ I’m looking forward to rehab and getting it working right again.”Holden’s Suzuki GSX-R1000 will wear the number 3 in the races he competes in as a replacement rider for Hopkins.”No one wants to see another rider have to miss races because of injury but I’m excited to get this opportunity,” Holden said in a team release. “The team has a solid reputation and has had a lot of success over the years. I’ve admired what they have been able to do. It’s a good program and I am looking forward to seeing what I can do on a full-on Superbike. Going into this season, I was looking to get some Superbike efforts going in AMA Pro and I love the big bikes. I’ve raced Suzukis for most of my career and I’m familiar with them. I also had a win at Infineon Raceway so hopefully we will be able to get up to speed quickly.”
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.