John Hopkins will be riding in the World Superbike series in 2012 for the Crescent Suzuki team. Hopkins and the Crescent Suzuki team nearly claimed the British Superbike Championship in 2011 and they are excited to compete on the world stage.
“I am really happy to be joining up with the Crescent guys again, we had a great year in British Superbike and I’m sure we can continue that in WSB,” Hopkins said. “I wanted to get back into world championship racing and this is a natural progression from last year, the difference this time is that I will be going to tracks that I already know and have some reference from so that should make some things a bit easier.
“I know it’s going to be a big step, but with some big technical advances and Yoshimura on board I’m sure the bike will be fully competitive. It will be great to work with Lez Pearson again, as we built up a strong relationship and his understanding of the way the bike works will be invaluable next year. I’m also looking forward to riding with Leon, I’m sure he’ll be strong next year and will be a difficult team-mate to beat and also one that will push me to the limit. I want to say thanks to Paul, Martyn, Jack and everyone at Crescent Suzuki for believing in me and giving me this opportunity, I can’t wait to get on the bike and see what we can do. I know it’s not going to be an easy task by any means, bit I have every intention of going out and trying to earn my first ever world championship for myself and the team – I’ll be doing everything in my power to make it happen!”
Hopkins raced in the BSB, WSB, and MotoGP in 2011. He injured his finger toward the end of the season and is currently recovering before he starts testing the 2012 Suzuki.
“It’s great to have John back onboard for next year and a real boost for the whole team that he has chosen to ride for us,” said Jack Valentine, Team Manager. “He is a class act; not only for Crescent Suzuki, but for the whole superbike series as well – the crowds will love him! I enjoyed working with him this year and, although he rode in the last three events with a severely injured finger, he only just missed out on the championship. That is history now and I look forward to continuing the relationship and building on what we achieved this year. I’m sure with what he learnt in BSB, and his experience on the tracks we will visit next year, that he will be able to get some spectacular results. I know he’s really fired up for this and I’m looking forward to some exciting times.”
Crescent Suzuki will also be enlisting the help of former BSB champion Leon Camier.
The Aspar Team will have two champions in its garages in 2012. Toni Elias, who won the Moto2 Championship in 2012, will return to the class to defend after spending 2011 in the MotoGP. And Nicolas Terol, who won the 2011 125cc Championship, will be stepping up to the Moto2 class in 2012.
“I’m really delighted to return to the Aspar Team which is like a family to me because I was there in 2002 and 2003,” said Elias. “Many years have passed since then but I’ll work with the same technical team, and I know they have great potential. Added to that is the fact the bike is very strong. We’ll work extremely hard throughout the winter to be ready for next season, and I think we can have a very good campaign. We fought for the title together in 2003 and in the end we weren’t able to get it, so we have unfinished business there. This is an added motivation to fight for the title in 2012.”
Terol was also enthusiastic to be riding with the Aspar team.
“It was a fantastic achievement to take the last-ever 125cc title and it was something that had been a dream since I was a child,” Terol said. “It’s also helped me to make the step up to Moto2 with much more motivation. I knew if I won the title it’d help raise my confidence in myself. I’ll approach the season with great patience, without rushing but at the same time without slowing down, and always working hard to improve. Next week we’ll test at Jerez and during the winter I’ll work hard to be ready for when I get back on the bike. I feel privileged to have a team-mate like Toni, and I think the Aspar team has formed a great team which can achieve huge success.”
Benny Solis will be moving up in class in 2012. Solis, one of the fastest riders on the Supersport grid in 2011, will be racing with the RidersDiscount.com, Versah Suzuki team in the Daytona Sportbike class in 2012.
Solis has already tested the 2011 Suzuki GSX-R 600 and recently signed to race with the team in 2012. Solis’ chief manager has yet to be determined.
“As soon as I got on the Suzuki I had a really good feel for it, I was able to push and I really liked the bike,” Solis said. “We worked on getting the set up closer to where I liked it and although we didn’t have it 100%, I was still able to beat my race pace lap times from this last season, so that was a plus on my side. I’m excited to get more time on the bike because I know I can go much faster and I can get it closer to where I really like the feel. 2012 will be a good season for us.”
Solis will be joining veteran Cory West on the RidersDiscount.com Versah Suzuki team in 2012.
Team owner Mark Junge said:
“I have been impressed by Benny’s riding after watching him compete against the team last year. I am really looking forward to working with him and getting the RidersDiscount.com Vesrah Suzuki GSX-R 600 set up for him and seeing what he can do with it. All 3 of my team riders for next year are looking strong and I am ready to get to the track – Bring on Daytona in March!”
For the last two years motorcyclists have argued that motorcycle checkpoints were a form of profiling and violated their constitutional rights. A federal judge in New York disagreed. Judge Gary Sharpe ruled today that the motorcycle checkpoints in New York’s main focus was to keep people safe and that they did not impede on anyone’s constitutional freedoms.
“The court concludes the checkpoints were enacted to promote motorcycle safety, a manifest public interest; they were effective in addressing this interest; and that any interference with individual liberties was not only minimal, but also grossly outweighed by the interest advanced.”
The interference with individual liberties was grossly outweighed by the interest advanced… – That’s a dangerously fine line to walk.
The Wall Street Journal reports that program, enacted in 2008, was centered around large motorcycle rallies in the state. Four motorcyclists sued NY State Troopers saying that the motorcycle checkpoints were a pretext to look for criminals and that they were intrusive and unfair to motorcyclists.
Attorney Mitchell Proner said he would appeal the ruling. Proner said: “The intrusion on civil liberties is something that shouldn’t be countenanced… It’s obvious just from their own internal documents they’re looking for criminal activity… The fact they didn’t find crime doesn’t mean that wasn’t what they’re fishing for. That just shows you’ve got law abiding citizens on motorcycles primarily being inconvenienced.”
Here are some stats according to Sharpe’s ruling.
- 5,342 motorcycles passed through 17 checkpoints in 2008.
- Authorities inspected 2,278 of those vehicles.
- They made four criminal arrests
- They issued 1,064 tickets
- 365 for helmet violations
- 99 for other safety violations
- 600 for non-safety violations.
What do you think about motorcycle checkpoints? Do they promote safety? Or are they profiling motorcyclists?
Nicki Minaj, Ricky Martin, and motorcycles. Now that’s how you sell lipstick. David LaChapelle’s new ad for MAC’s Viva Glam product line features a colorful cleavagey Nicki Minaj and a lipstick lifting Ricky Martin sitting on a motorcycle.
And I might be mistaken, but is Ricky rocking the pink lipstick?
The Daily Mail reports that the $14 lipsticks, dubbed Viva Glam Ricky and Viva Glam Nicki, will go on sale in February. 100 percent of the proceeds from the two pink lipsticks will be donated to help fight AIDS and HIV. The MAC Aids Fund has raised more than $220 million since it launched in 1994.
Ricky Martin and Nicki Minaj are taking over as the faces of the MAC Fund from Lady Gaga. Cyndi Lauper, Missy Elliot, Naomi Campbell, Mary J Blige, Fergie, and Christina Aguilera have also represented the MAC Fund.