British Superbike: John Hopkins Returns To Ducati

Hopkins signs with the Moto Rapido Ducati squad for 2017

John Hopkins
John Hopkins returns to the Moto Rapido Ducati squad and is looking to build on his 2015 success with the team in 2017.Photo Courtesy of BSB

American John Hopkins has returned to the Moto Rapido Ducati team, signing a deal with his former squad for the 2017 British Superbike Championship. The former MotoGP racer was happy to return to the Ducati squad, a team he joined mid-season in 2015 and scored the team’s best finish and the first ever podium for the Ducati Panigale R in the championship.

“To be back with the Moto Rapido team and on the Ducati again is something I am really so excited about,” Hopkins said. “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 in 2015.

“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.”

John Hopkins

MCE British Superbike Championship

Hopkins (15) is happy to throw is leg over the Panigale once again as he was not able to find the same comfort level on the Yamaha this season.Photo Courtesy of BSB

In 2011, the Californian came just shy of the BSB crown in one of the most memorable season finales in history – losing the crown to Tommy Hill by a mere .006 of a second at Brands Hatch. Hopkins is more motivated than ever to be back in title contention in 2017 and he goes into the new year with confidence. But ‘Hopper’ also knows that he will have his work cut out for him as 2017 season is hyped to be one of the most competitive seasons ever with World Superbike riders Sylvain Guintoli and Davide Giugliano throwing their names into mix of an already highly competitive championship.

“My hopes are extremely high for next season and it is going to be one of the most competitive seasons ever I feel,” Hopkins said. “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 of world class riders for sure. Our aim and focus is to go testing and then be there right from the start.”