Hopper to WSB's Stiggy


Making room on the team stiggymotorsport.com

Set for an official announcement later today (March 20) is that American Moto GP rider John Hopkins is set to join the Stiggy Honda World Superbike team, with immediate effect. Stiggy is a new WSB team based out of Sweden, currently with riders Leon Haslam of the U.K. and Roberto Rolfo of Italy on board, using Honda CBR1000RR machinery.

Rumours in the off-season said that Rolfo would be given the boot to make room for Hopper, but apparently Hopkins still has big money personal backing from the Monster energy drink company and Stiggy is going to run three bikes for the rest of the season.

Hopper was left out in the cold when Kawasaki decided to drop Moto GP for reasons of cost, and when the factory was persuaded under various threats of litigation to provide one bike for Italian Marco Melandri Hopkins’ management set about negotiating an end to his contract. That’s apparently now been settled, and he’s supposed to be testing the bike this month with a view to racing at Valencia in Spain April 5.

Hopkins is no stranger to production-based machinery, having AMA 750 cc Supersport and Formula Xtreme titles in his back pocket. He’s been in Moto GP since 2002, when he was hired into the private Red Bull-sponsored Yamaha 500 cc team. Since then he’s ridden for the Suzuki and Kawasaki factories without a victory, as Soapbox regular Blackie pointed out yesterday.

Still, there’s no doubt he’s got huge talent. The WSB season was already looking great; now it’s looking better.

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