John Hopkins has had to withdraw from of this weekend’s Sepang GP due to further complications with the broken finger he damaged in Brno earlier this season.
Hopkins was due to make a wild-card appearance for the Rizla Suzuki team this weekend, but the third finger on his right-hand that he broke in the Czech Republic – also as a wild-card entry – has re-broken at the knuckle. The finger is swollen and seized overnight, making it impossible to ride a MotoGP machine competitively or safely.
Hopkins will stay for the remainder of the weekend to give his full support to team-mate Álvaro Bautista and the Rizla Suzuki squad, before he returns to America for further surgery and convalescence to repair the damage to his hand and enable him to make a full recovery in time for next season.
It is definitely a lot more painful riding a MotoGP bike than it was the British Superbike.
“I knew my hand was sore after yesterday afternoon, because it was hurting when I was riding. It is definitely a lot more painful riding a MotoGP bike than it was the British Superbike, mainly due to the immense braking forces on the GSV-R. I woke up just before six this morning and I had quite a bit of pain so I tried to loosen it up and bend it, but that wasn’t an option. The screws and the plates in the finger have come apart and there’s just no movement in the knuckle at all, so I cannot bend the finger. If I get any further damage to the injury it could result in amputation and certainly don’t want that! My Doctor is totally confident that he can fix it, but I just haven’t been able to rest it and give it the proper time needed to repair it over the last six weeks. I thought it would be fine to ride this weekend and had every hope of it working, but I didn’t expect the amount of force that goes into riding a GP bike would cause such a problem.
“I am so sorry for the team and Rizla Suzuki, because they have given me such a great opportunity again and now I can’t ride past the Friday - it’s heartbreaking and I can’t express my disappointment. It’s such a shame and I couldn’t be more upset, but the priority now is to get it fixed and get myself ready for the 2012 season.”