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Didn't see this one coming but apparently he went after the big bucks.

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/sport/sportresults/mcn/2007/july/jul9-jul15/jul1007suzukimotogpbossconfirmshopkinsdeparture/


Suzuki's factory MotoGP team boss Paul Denning has confirmed to MCN that John Hopkins has penned a big money deal to switch to Kawasaki for the 2008 MotoGP world championship.

The American's management team informed Denning that a deal had been signed for Hopkins to quit after five years in Suzuki's factory MotoGP squad.

MCN exclusively revealed this morning that Hopkins signed a contract with Kawasaki at last month's Dutch GP in Assen, and that his move will be officially announced at this weekend's German GP in the Sachsenring. MCN understands Suzuki was notified of Hopkins' decision yesterday (Monday).

Hopkins turned down a fresh contract offer from Suzuki to switch to ride Kawasaki's ZX-RR after the 24-year-old was linked with a host of teams for next season.

Denning told MCN: "We have been informed by John's management that he has signed for Kawasaki. We have still got 50 per cent of the 2007 season to go and it's obviously a disappointment from Suzuki's point of view. Suzuki had made John a strong and a solid offer and he has chosen to go in a different direction for whatever reasons those maybe. From our point of view that's something we respect and have to go along with. But as I said we still have 50 per cent of the season to go and John Hopkins is still a Rizla Suzuki Grand Prix rider and we will be giving him absolutely everything as we always do to try and help him and get him into the top three in the championship." Denning said he was disappointed at failing to sign Hopkins again, with the Californian riding for the British-based squad since the start of 2003.

He declined to comment though that Suzuki had refused to meet Hopkins' high wage demands, believed to be around a whopping £2.7m, MCN understands.


"It is a disappointment that John has chosen to go elsewhere. There are reasons for that other than performance, I think there are commercial reasons but it's not really our job to be concerned about that. While it is disappointing that John is leaving, there are probably other riders seeing John getting reasonably good results on a fast improving motorcycle, and that performance doesn't harm our chances of replacing John with a rider that can do an equally good if not better job. We'd have been very, very happy to continue with John, we are disappointed he is leaving but you have to look at it as an opportunity rather than a problem, "said Denning, who said a host of riders were in the frame to replace Hopkins for 2008.

A leading contender is likely to be Italian Marco Melandri, who has already held talks with Denning earlier this season.

There are strong rumours though that Melandri is being lined up as Loris Capirossi's replacement in Ducati's factory team, with Kawasaki still pursuing Capirossi to partner Hopkins.

Denning added: "I think there are a number of riders; Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri and a couple of others who probably aren't performing to their true potential. Even Shinya Nakano is another good example for whatever reason that might be. I'd like to think that the Suzuki environment and the bike we have got now would be attractive to a rider that has won GPs, challenged for world championships and wants to do it again."

With Hopkins confirming his departure, Denning said it would not make the issue of signing Aussie Chris Vermeulen a more pressing matter.

Vermeulen is locked in negotiations about extending his current contract and Denning told MCN: "Suzuki made it clear that its first intention was to sign with both John and Chris for next year. John has gone to Kawasaki but the intention to sign Chris is very, very clear. I don' know whether it puts Chris in a stronger negotiating position or not, I don't think it really works like that. We brought Chris into MotoGP and he's done a brilliant job. He's still got something to learn to get the absolute best out of a MotoGP bike in all conditions but the baseline is he's got the attitude and convictions of a winner and its still very much our intention to keep Chris. I don't think it makes it anymore pressing the fact that John is moving. We desperately wanted to keep Chris anyway and that is still the case."
 

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Oh well, with the right rider, Suzuki can win championships... Kawasaki is still unproven although has huge potential now that all the works are taken in house.. this will be interesting
 

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I don't like it... mean Zuki will be more willing to shell out huge $$$ on JT :(
 

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Or Ben Spies would be a safe and good choice - less $$$ for a great rider? I'd say so.
and he has already said he will only go to MotoGP on an A Squad bike. as in a contender. Other then a wet race win, it(suzuki) hasn't really challenged for wins that much however that could be rider more then bike, we'll see next year. I don't really know if kawasaki was the team to go for JHopkins, i mean he had offers from ducati a year or 2 ago, shoulda taken that deal.
 

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there has been talk about Spies to MotoGP? I remember hearing a commentator mention something but nothing I would have taken as a serious thought...?

On within Zuki, wonder what Yoshi would think about that lol You know how badly they are a 123 finish in the championship... (everyyear! lol)
 

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Where's the Hopkins bashing? A while back everyone was praising him for his loyalty to Suzuki...

Anyways, hopefully this is a smart move. It's tough to know how good the ZX-RR is, but many in the paddock think it's a fast bike. Good luck to him.
 

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http://www.crash.net/news_view~cid~6~id~150989.htm

Following the news that John Hopkins has signed for Kawasaki, reported earlier today by Motorcycle News, Suzuki has assured Crash.net that the Anglo-American will continue to receive full support until the end of 2007.


After making his MotoGP debut with Red Bull Yamaha in 2002, Hopkins switched to Suzuki the following season and - despite several difficult years on the initially uncompetitive GSV-R - has remained with the factory ever since.

The Anglo-American was rewarded for his loyalty with a steadily improving machine, culminating in a debut pole position last season and a debut podium earlier this year. Nevertheless, that hasn't been enough to keep the highly-rated 24-year-old at Paul Denning's team - Hopkins' decision to join Kawasaki, a team eager to sign a top name for 2008, being made with half of the 18 rounds still to go.

"Suzuki is making no comment on the situation, other than John will continue to get full support both on and off the track as he is still a Suzuki rider," a Suzuki spokesman told Crash.net, when asked about the consequences of Hopper's departure.


The spokesman admitted that the team's intention had been to keep both Hopkins and Chris Vermeulen for next season - and that Suzuki is still in talks with the young Australian, who took his first win earlier this year in the rain at Le Mans.

"Suzuki's first aim was to keep both riders and we are still in negotiation with Chris," said the spokesman. "As soon as there is any news on whether Chris is staying and who the replacement for John is, we will make an announcement."

Marco Melandri and Loris Capirossi are thought to be in contention to replace Hopkins at Suzuki - Ducati star Capirossi having also been heavily linked to Kawasaki.
 

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Where's the Hopkins bashing? A while back everyone was praising him for his loyalty to Suzuki...

Anyways, hopefully this is a smart move. It's tough to know how good the ZX-RR is, but many in the paddock think it's a fast bike. Good luck to him.
Hopkins sucks! OVER-RATED! Suzuki loyalist, pfft! His eyebrows are more cropped than his girlfriend's. He's :supergay:. One podium will lead to many, pssh! Whatever, him falling back in the pack is as certain as death and taxes. Should I go on?
 

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So, it looks like then:

Repsol: Hayden, Pedrosa (will be announced by Germany)
FIAT: Rossi, Lorenzo
Works Ducati: Stoner, Melandri?
Rizla: Vermeulen, Melandri? Spies (but I don't think so, isn't he afraid of flying?)
Hanspree: Elias, JT?
Monster Kawi: Hopkins, RdP
Tech3: Guintoli, Edwards?
Pd'A: Barros, Hoff

Who else is there?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So, it looks like then:

Repsol: Hayden, Pedrosa (will be announced by Germany)
FIAT: Rossi, Lorenzo
Works Ducati: Stoner, Melandri?
Rizla: Vermeulen, Melandri? Spies (but I don't think so, isn't he afraid of flying?)
Hanspree: Elias, JT?
Monster Kawi: Hopkins, RdP
Tech3: Guintoli, Edwards?
Pd'A: Barros, Hoff

Who else is there?
Slight revisions:
Suzuki: Vermeulen, (Spies, Toseland, or DeAngelis)
Gresini Honda: Dovizioso, (Elias)
Kawasaki: Hopkins, Capirossi

Its hard to say what will happen with the other satellite teams. D'Antin could probably score a better rider and LCR will almost certainly upgrade from Checa. Team KR has said they will probably offer Johnny Rea a seat if they can get funding for 2 bikes.
 

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Hopkins sucks! OVER-RATED! Suzuki loyalist, pfft! His eyebrows are more cropped than his girlfriend's. He's :supergay:. One podium will lead to many, pssh! Whatever, him falling back in the pack is as certain as death and taxes. Should I go on?

Well he's been running in the Top 5 most of the year... so he's definitely not over-rated.
 

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Well he's been running in the Top 5 most of the year... so he's definitely not over-rated.
Nah, I like Hopkins. I like his girlfriend more, but I like Hopper. I think on the Kawasaki, he'll be fast. His problem is that he's not consistent (not so much placement, you're right, top 5), but that he's prone to make mistakes and get too emotional which rattles him and causes him to make mistakes. With rider's like Stoner and Rossi picking off one flawless lap after another, if you want to run with the big dawgs, you gotta be perfect (or be like Rossi who's the best recovery guy I've ever seen).
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Spies will NOT be in MotoGP next year.
Don't be so sure, when Aspar was vying to get Suzuki to supply them with a satellite bike Spies' name was at the top of the Schwantz's list (Schwantz was to be the team boss/manager). Spies has said he wants to go to Moto GP and if he gets his second championship this year he'll certainly be worthy of a look. He would have a resume much stronger than what Hopper's was when he came to GP. And for Suzuki's part Spies would be one of the best options they have left available. They're not going to get Melandri or Capirossi and Dovizioso and Lorenzo are pretty much spoken for. Who does that leave? Toseland, Spies, Ant West, and any number of the satellite riders. Who knows though, maybe they would pick Colin but I think his career is nearing its end so that wouldn't be such a smart pick.
 
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