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john_hopkinsAlvaro Bautista broke his femur during the opening round of the 2011 MotoGP season, and was not able to race at the event. Bautista’s injury left the Rizla Suzuki team without a rider in Qatar, but the Suzuki team will be bringing American John Hopkins to race at the next event in Jerez.

Hopkins will be making his British Superbike debut at Brands Hatch on April 22nd-25th, but before he does he’ll get a nice warm-up with the MotoGP.

“The 2011 season hasn’t even started and to have this huge disappointment already is very difficult to deal with,” said team manager Paul Denning. “We are all disappointed, but Álvaro is the poor guy in the hospital with a pin in his femur and a tough recuperation ahead of him.

“He has the strength of character and determination to come back from this, and on his behalf we’d like to thank everybody for their kind wishes and support. With regard to the Qatar GP, we really wanted to have the Rizla Suzuki on the grid this weekend but the logistics for John or Nobu (Aoki) simply didn’t allow it.”

Hopkins is only scheduled to race with Rizla Suzuki for the Jerez race. It is unclear what the Rizla Suzuki team will do for the rest of the 2011 season.

“Álvaro’s comeback timing isn’t clear, and John has BSB commitments that clash with Estoril and Le Mans,” said Denning. “So we need to wait a while before any decisions for those races are made.”

Courtesy of

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