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john_hopkins_motogpAlvaro Bautista won’t be racing this weekend for the Rizla Suzuki team in Jerez. Bautista is out with a broken femur, and will be temporarily replaced by John Hopkins. Hopkins rode with the Rizla Suzuki team in the MotoGP Championship in 2007.

Hopkins is set to race in the British Superbike series this year with the Samsung Suzuki team, but before the BSB begins, he’ll be helping the Rizla Suzuki team out in the MotoGP.

“I was shocked by what happened to Álvaro, especially after such good winter testing, and I really wish him a speedy and full recovery,” Hopkins said. “I wanted the opportunity to get back on a MotoGP bike, but not under these circumstances.”

“I’m under no illusions that this will be tough weekend for me, as I’ve not been on a GP machine for a couple of years… so I realize this will be a step up from what I have been riding recently.”

Once it was announced that Hopkins would fill in for Bautista, rumors began to circulate that Hopkins might stay in the MotoGP for the rest of the 2011 season. But Samsung Suzuki boss Jack Valentine says that the rumors are rubbish.

“It’s rubbish. John is contracted to race in British Superbikes with us first and as a stand-in rider with the MotoGP team second. There isn’t a clash for this first round but there is for the next couple therefore he will be in BSB,” Valentine told

“John is happy where he is and looking forward to the next set of tests at Brands and Snetterton.”

Courtesy of

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