News 4 May 2010

AMA SBK: Holden replaces Hopkins at M4 Monster Suzuki

With Team M4 Monster Energy Suzuki racer John Hopkins undergoing wrist surgery on Monday in California, AMA Pro race winner Jake Holden will replace Hopkins at the next three rounds of the AMA Superbike Championship.

Holden’s M4 Monster Energy Suzuki GSX-R1000 will wear the number three at the Infineon Raceway, Road America and Mid-Ohio AMA Pro American Superbike rounds in place of Hopkins.

While Hopkins has shown quick pace in several AMA Superbike races, including charges in both Road Atlanta American Superbike events that saw him gain several positions late in those contests, his right wrist has been an issue for the former MotoGP podium placer.

An earlier minor procedure did not provide relief for the two-time AMA Pro champion and a more extensive surgery was required.

“Apparently, the surgery went well,” said Hopkins. “It was a complete reconstruction. What was happening was there was a bone-on-bone situation. My radius bone had been pounding into my wrist and bruising a bone. I had been going to a bunch of doctors and seen all kinds of specialists and they told me it wasn’t just going to end my racing career.

“It would cost me the bone in my wrist, too. We found a specialist in San Diego that’s done a procedure with another patient before and that patient had a 90 percent recovery. They went in and shortened the radius bone slightly and did some work with tendons and ligaments as well. I have a lot of confidence I’ll have a good recovery and the doctor told me, ‘In no way is this the end of your racing career.’ I’m looking forward to rehab and getting it working right again.”

Holden has been a consistent performer in AMA racing for the past few seasons, a fast veteran and has competed on a variety of machines in his career.

“No one wants to see another rider have to miss races because of injury but I’m excited to get this opportunity. The team has a solid reputation and has had a lot of success over the years,” said Holden. “I’ve admired what they have been able to do.

“It’s a good program and I am looking forward to seeing what I can do on a full-on Superbike. Going into this season, I was looking to get some Superbike efforts going in AMA Pro and I love the big bikes. I’ve raced Suzukis for most of my career and I’m familiar with them. I also had a win at Infineon Raceway so hopefully we will be able to get up to speed quickly.”