Hopkins joins forces with Moto Rapido Ducati
John Hopkins will return to the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship in 2017, signing a new deal with the Moto Rapido Ducati team after a brief, yet successful stint with them in 2015.
The MotoGP podium finisher already has a legacy of his own in the MCE BSB, namely for his 2011 Championship battle with Tommy Hill where he missed out on the overall victory by an unimaginably slight 0.006s at the final race at Brands Hatch.
Hopkins took the Moto Rapido Ducati team to their first ever podium finish at Brands Hatch in 2015 and he will hope to do more of the same in new year as he sets his sights on success with the team.
Hopkins said: 'To be back with the Moto Rapido team and on the Ducati again is something I am really so excited about. I enjoyed last season but I never felt as comfortable on the Yamaha as I did the first time I rode the Ducati in 2015. It's such a great bike to ride and it really suits my riding style; I certainly hadn't had as much fun riding motorcycles in a while until I had my first laps on the Panigale.
'I love this team and they were always one of my first choices for the new season. We had a podium finish together in 2015 and I know that they have come on leaps and bounds with the development since then. During my time with them previously there were several occasions when we were in guaranteed podium finishing positions until we had some minor technical problems because so much was so new, but now this bike is the complete package.
'My hopes are extremely high for next season and it is going to be one of the most competitive seasons ever I feel. We say it every year, but with so many riders from the World Championship on the grid, some new riders and some of the established contenders it is a stacked field full of world class riders for sure. Our aim and focus is to go testing and then be there right from the start.'
Team owner Steve Moore commented: 'This time I wasn't going to miss out on John so we started talking right after the last race of 2016. The last time he was in the team we had consistently great lap times and even our first podium. Importantly the fit with John, our team and the Panigale was perfect. John's very aggressive riding style and the Ducati work well together so I will be expecting top results.'
30.11.2016 - Big Ed