John Hopkins' luck at Assen went from bad to worse at Assen. After just four laps of free practice at his second ever World Superbike meeting, the American suffered a huge highside and dislocated a hip. Initial reports suggested that no bones had been broken, but once Hopkins had been flown back to California and examined by Dr. Ting, a world-renowned specialist in motorcycle racing injuries, it was found that in addition to the muscle and sinew damage he had suffered in the dislocation, Hopper had also fractured his femur. Dr. Ting operated on Hopkins on Monday, inserting screws to fix the fracture, and the American has already left the hospital to start his recovery at his California home.
Hopkins hopes to be fit again in time for the US round of World Superbikes at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah on May 31st, but that may be a little optimistic. Dr. Ting said that these injuries normally require 6 weeks of convalescence before they are ready to withstand the strains of racing, but Miller is just over four weeks away. However, as Miller is Hopkins' home round, there is a good chance the American will gamble on racing not fully fit.
In further news from the World Superbike paddock, the PSG-1 team has announced that they will not be flying to South Africa and the US for the Kyalami and Miller rounds of the World Superbike series. The San Marino-based team is seriously short of cash, and have already reduced their line up from two to just one rider, dropping Ayrton Badovini earlier this year. PSG-1 is further handicapped by their decision to field Kawasakis: as good a road bike as the ZX-10R is, in race trim it has failed to be competitive, either for private teams such as PSG-1 or for the factory-backed effort of PBM Kawasaki.