The Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team will expand to run two bikes in this year’s Czech Grand Prix at Brno, with John Hopkins joining current rider Alvaro Bautista.
The entry will mark Hopkins’ second race for the season, having substituted for the injured Bautista at Jerez.
Suzuki cut back its factory effort to one bike this season, with second-year rider Bautista expected to struggle against the Honda, Yamaha and Ducati satellite teams.
The 26-year-old Spaniard has shown impressive speed on occasion however – beating home the two factory Ducatis to take seventh in last weekend’s German Grand Prix.
Hopkins finished second at Brno for Suzuki in 2007 and is looking forward to his return.
“It’s a real thrill to get the opportunity to ride at Brno and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Hopkins the American.
“I’m very pleased that we have been able to achieve it because it is something we have been working on for a long time.
“To be honest it couldn’t be at a better track for me either, I had my best result in my MotoGP career at that track and I’m really pumped that I am going there again. As far as the Suzuki goes, I think it’s a great bike and the package is a lot better than when I last rode it in 2007.
“It’s also a huge benefit for me to be riding alongside Alvaro instead of riding in-place of him, so that will be really good, not just for me but for the whole team. With the two of us we can help develop the bike and share the extra data to get the best out of the GSV-R.
“It will be better to be riding with him in the team instead of replacing him, because nobody likes to see a rider injured and having more bikes on the grid is always better for everyone.”
The MotoGP circus is in Laguna Seca this weekend for the US Grand Prix, while the Czech Grand Prix follows three weeks later.