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Author: Suzuki Racing Press Release
Posted on: Thursday, Oct 20 2005

Hopkins will have a weekend of double firsts; it will be his first visit to Turkey for a MotoGP and the first time this season that he has been the sole-rider for Team SUZUKI MotoGP as Kenny Roberts Jr. will not be racing due to the broken wrist that he suffered in Australia last weekend. Hopkins will no doubt be hoping to add to his list of firsts by going all out for his first ever podium.

The Istanbul Park Circuit was only opened in August 2005 when the Formula 1 race cars held their Grand Prix there and now it is the turn of the bikes to visit the most modern track on the calendar. The circuit is located on the Asian side of Istanbul which is the only city in the world to be situated in two continents - Europe and Asia.

The track is over 5.3km long and in some places in excess of 21m wide, which should allow for plenty of overtaking and exciting racing as all riders learn their lines on a circuit none of them have ever ridden before. Added to this are some spectacular corners and elevation changes over four levels that will help to make this a fascinating event.

The Grand Prix of Turkey is the penultimate round on the MotoGP schedule and the new circuit will be hoping to attract many fans to witness the premier event in motorcycle racing and with a 130,000 seating capacity.

Hopkins will take to the track on Friday morning for the first practice session. All riders have been given extra time during this session to familiarise themselves with the new circuit and the quick-learning Anglo-American will be eager to do just that.

Sunday’s race will begin at 15.00hrs (local time), 14.00hrs CET.

Paul Denning – Team Manager:

“After all the travelling of recent weeks it seems appropriate to end the fly-away tour in a city covering two continents. I have seen footage of the Istanbul track and it looks both stunning and very technically demanding. John will certainly have to be at his sharpest to make sure he gets to grips with the track as quickly as possible. Nobody will have a clear advantage at this circuit as no riders or teams have raced here before so we are all on a level playing field. Finding our correct set-up and best combination of Bridgestone race tyres as early as possible is going to be crucial to the outcome of Sunday’s race.

“It is disappointing that Kenny is not available this weekend as I am convinced he would have relished the chance of riding at this circuit and would certainly have made the most of the new surroundings. We hope he will be back at Valencia next month but for this race we must concentrate on just one rider and give all our support to John.”

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