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John Hopkins tips Joe Roberts for 2024 Moto2 title tilt, MotoGP promotion with Trackhouse

Gold & Goose

John Hopkins is confident his American Racing team can for the first time challenge for the Moto2 World Championship title in 2024 with Joe Roberts, which he believes would set him on a course for getting a US rider back in the MotoGP premier class.

The former MotoGP rider and 2011 BSB runner-up acts as an influential rider coach for American Racing under team manager Eitan Butbul and will oversee the team’s 2024 Moto2 efforts with Roberts and Marcos Ramirez.

For Roberts, this will be his second stint as part of the American Racing team for what will be his seventh season in the intermediate class.


He previously competed with the team in 2019 and 2020, securing a career-best seventh overall in the latter before going on to spend three seasons with Italtrans between 2021 and 2023.

With experience on his side, Hopkins has full belief that Roberts is now ready to make the step and both secure American Racing’s first-ever win in Moto2 before going on to challenge for the title.

Joe Roberts returns to the American Racing Moto2 team he raced for in 2019 and 2020

“I genuinely believe Joe can win the Championship. He’s got the talent, there’s no question about it,” he told MotoGP.com. “He’s got the experience, he’s now just got to get the confidence. If he can believe in himself enough I really believe he can win the Championship.”

For Hopkins, a strong effort by Roberts within the top three would be enough to book him a promotion into MotoGP for 2025, in part because of the desire to get an American rider in MotoGP once again and partly because he sees him as an attractive candidate for the new Trackhouse Racing Aprilia team.

“If nothing else, I definitely believe he can be top three in the Championship, in which case that would secure him a spot in MotoGP. I mean, the sport does need another American and he’s the only one in line to be able to accomplish that in the next couple of years at least.

Trackhouse Racing makes its MotoGP debut in 2024 as the first US-flagged team In 17 years


“Well, talking just that, I’m actually taking over the US Ohvale distribution, doing that myself and two other partners, to really try and work and infiltrate the motocross market. We’ll be involved and taking care of the US championship and from that point hopefully we can all work together.

“Ohvale, American Racing Moto2 and the Trackhouse MotoGP team, I think if we put all our efforts together, work with MotoAmerica, the FIM, Dorna, I really think that we can grow the sport. Get the interest, get the kids, get the numbers, get the talent and then we’ll get the bikes for them.”

The United States has not had a full-time MotoGP rider competing since the late Nicky Hayden departed the series at the end of the 2015 season. Its last race winner was Ben Spies at the 2011 Dutch TT.

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