Former AMA Superbike, World Superbike and MotoGP star John Hopkins has signed a contract to ride for the Crescent Suzuki British Superbike team for the 2011 British Superbike Series, the team announced today.Hopkins, who rode a Monster-backed Suzuki in an injury riddled 2010 season for the M4 Suzuki team in AMA Superbike, will test the bike in early March in Spain, the team says.The high point of Hopkins’ career thus far is his fourth-place finish in the 2007 MotoGP World Championship on a Rizla Suzuki. The 27-year-old Hopkins underwent surgery last season to correct his wrist issues and he was able to come back with strong finishes in the final races, including a string of three podium finishes to end the season.
“I’m totally stoked about coming to Britain to race with Crescent in BSB, as this will feel a bit like coming home because I have so many friends and family over in the UK,” Hopkins said in a team release. “I’m 100 percent fit now and this will give me a great a great chance to prove that I’m still able to be competitive at the highest level. I’ve always dreamed of winning the World Championship – that’s still my goal – and I see this as a fantastic opportunity to get that ambition back on track. I haven’t raced on many of the UK circuits, so that will be a big learning curve, but I’ll be able to get to grips with them quickly and hope to be on the pace as soon as possible. The Suzuki’s a great package, I know I can win races and obviously winning the title is the ultimate goal, so we’ll have to see what we can do. I would also like to thank Paul [Denning] and all at Crescent for giving me this opportunity to race in the UK and plan to repay their faith in me with some great results for the team.”Team manager Jack Valentine is excited to have Hopkins on the squad.”It’s fantastic that we have been able to get a guy of John’s talent to sign for Crescent,” Valentine said. “He is a great rider and always exciting to watch, plus he’s tasted podium success in MotoGP, so he is certainly bringing great experience with him to the BSB grid. He’s really focused on racing at the highest level and sees BSB as his stepping-stone to get back to world level. The whole team is looking forward to working with John and we are all sure this is going to be a great adventure for all concerned.”Back in November when the deal first presented itself, Hopkins said he was hopeful of testing Suzuki’s MotoGP bike and that his goal was a return to the series when it returns to 1000cc motorcycles in 2012. He also seemed confident at the time of bringing Monster money with him to the British Superbike Series.