Crescent Suzuki's John Hopkins has finally had to bite the bullet and have the top of his troublesome right ring finger amputated following the failure of numerous operations to put it right.
The World Superbike star went under the knife in California yesterday to have the finger lopped after he mangled it in a crash at the Brno MotoGP round last year. He still managed to give Tommy Hill a run for his money in the British Superbike Championship with it causing him considerable pain.
"I went to see my doctor for a progress report and the news was not great. It's never good news when you have to lose a body part, but this was the best scenario all round because otherwise the situation could've dragged on for some time, with not necessarily a better result in the end," said the American.
"Apart from the actual pain of the surgery, I must say that it's feeling better already. I now have about 10 days when I cannot do any physio, but then I can start again. This is a bit of a setback, but really not too bad because I have been training and getting fit for some time now, so my base level is very good. I'll be able to train fully again soon and be able to get on a bike in three weeks, so I'm sure I'll be ok for our first tests in Australia.
"I know the bike well and I've raced at Phillip Island before, so at least I will not be starting from scratch. Our GSX-R1000 has a very good base setting and I am confident that we're not going to be struggling at the start. The level of competition is tough for sure, but I think we're going to be competitive right from the start."