Photography By: Gold & Goose
The World Superbike season gets going again after the five-week break since the opener in Australia and the race will mark the return to action of Crescent Fixi Suzuki's John Hopkins.
Hopkins, who suffered a broken hand while testing in Phillip Island prior to the opener and had to miss the first round, has been given clearance by his hand specialist in San Diego, California, and has flown to England to join the team. He will be on the track this coming weekend in Imola with teammate Leon Camier to start his season in earnest.
"I am so pleased to get the all-clear and cannot wait to get on the bike again," Hopkins said in a team release. "I had been given strict instructions not to do any riding this week, which has been a bit frustrating, but I have occupied my time well with physiotherapy, training and numerous spells in the hyperbaric chamber. All of this has helped me to recover quickly and I have no doubt that I will be as fit as can be at Imola.
"It's been very busy recently. On Tuesday, I was in the hyperbaric chamber and then drove three hours each way to see my nutrition doctor in Palm Springs. Before that I have really been putting in the hours on my mountain bike and also on the cardio machines in the gym."
Hopkins believes his hand is ready to go.
"I am really happy with my hand, how well it has been healing; and the range of movement I have got. When I saw the doctor on Wednesday, he told me that the bone was fully healed and everything was okay and I could start riding again. I was hoping to get on my dirt bike before leaving for the UK, but I have just sold my house and there's loads of stuff to sort out, but I'll try and fit in a ride somehow before Imola. I am really looking forward to catching up with everybody at Crescent Fixi Suzuki and getting back to the racetrack. I've missed it, but I feel ready and raring to go."