Italian Roby Rolfo confirmed on his website that he'd been replaced by John Hopkins on the Stiggy Racing Honda team.Rolfo, who finished 13th in the first race of the Phillip Island season-opener, but failed to score a point since, will leave the team rather than move to the Stiggy Racing Honda World Supersport squad, as had been rumored. Hopkins joins Brit Leon Haslam on the team's Honda CBR1000RR's from the following round in Valencia."With great sadness I have taken notice of the fact that the Stiggy Racing Team and its sponsors have expressed their wishes for another rider to support the team," Rolfo wrote. "Based on this outcome, I have decided to end my collaboration with the team."Rolfo scuttled rumors that his replacement was due to fitness issues with the left shoulder he fractured last spring."I would like to thank my mechanics who have helped me in this short season," he said. "I would also like to emphasize the decision, to prevent any miscommunication, has nothing to do with my physical condition, which is perfect at the moment, but is entirely based on reasons beyond my influence."Also posted on the Rolfo's website was a statement from the Stiggy Racing Honda team which read, "We are sorry to announce the premature ending of our collaboration with Roberto Rolfo, due to insolvable matters of sponsor interest.""We would like to thank Roberto for his dedication and the effort he has put into the Stiggy Racing project from the beginning and sincerely hope he will quickly find the opportunity to participate once again in the SBK Championship. The team intends to maintain the excellent relationship it has built with Roberto Rolfo."

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Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.

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