The 23-year-old Anglo American was allowed 10-minutes on the 2.60-mile long picturesque track on Saturday and Sunday but had to contend with a wet surface and rain on both occasions. It didn’t dampen his enthusiasm though. He said: “I really enjoyed my time riding, this circuit rocks.
“It may have been wet but I still got a good feel for the track. I like the change in elevation and the complete mix of corners, from super-fast through to tight 90-degree turns.”
Hopper’s Rizla Suzuki GSV-R is the first MotoGP bike ever to lap the historic Brands Hatch circuit and is easily the quickest bike ever to have visited the Kent venue thanks to its awesome 250bhp and low weight of just 148kgs.
“The circuit is like a big amphitheatre which was brilliant for me and the crowd,” explained Hopper. “I could see the fans everywhere and the bowl shape meant they got to hear the GP bike exactly as it should be heard – loud and proud!”
Hopper will be in action in the last two rounds of the MotoGP season later this month aboard his Rizla Suzuki GSV-R, and he relishes the thought of returning to Brands Hatch in the future.
Hopper said: “I think the track at Brands is one of the most fun I’ve ridden. I had to take it easy because of the wet conditions but would like the chance to ride it in the dry – aggressively. It’s the sort of track that I think would lend itself to exciting racing and I guess it could make a great addition to the MotoGP calendar in the future.
“The circuit may need to work on some of its run-off provision for 200mph+ MotoGP bikes, but for sure it has the makings of a brilliant venue for a Grand Prix. There’s an atmosphere at Brands Hatch and a grid of MotoGP bikes roaring away from the start would set the place on fire. Maybe someday I’ll get to race at Brands Hatch if MotoGP visits, but in the meantime I hope I am invited back when it’s dry to see what sort of lap times I can set on my Rizla Suzuki…”
Hopper and his Rizla Suzuki MotoGP team mate Chris Vermeulen are next in action at the penultimate round of the MotoGP Championship at Estoril in Portugal on Sunday October 15th. For more information, visit www.rizla-suzuki-motogp.co.uk.