Last July, during a Q&A with Crash.net viewers, Suzuki MotoGP rider John Hopkins was asked for advice by a club racer who wanted to close the gap between himself and the fastest riders.
"What you need to do is try and follow (the fastest riders) - that's part of the game - just try and feed in as much information as you can to go out there, chase and beat them," replied Hopper.
Proving that John practices exactly what he preaches, the Anglo-American recently made headlines after world champion Valentino Rossi 'lashed out' at the Rizla Suzuki star for following him while testing. During Wednesday's British MotoGP launch in London, Crash.net asked John for his side of the story:
"Yeah I have been following him," replied Hopkins. "My basic take on the whole story is that he's won seven world titles and he's got a lot to offer to everybody out on track - and with all the rumours about him leaving for Formula One next year I figured I'd just try and follow him as much as possible and learn as much as I can (before he goes). If he's getting that upset (about it) then I'd say we kind of take it as a compliment, because it means we're doing our job if we're that much of a threat."
But does John really think that Rossi will leave for F1 at the end of this season?
"I'm not sure... if I was him I would," declared the #21. "He's won all the championships and it would be a new conquest and a great thing to do. I can't see him not doing it really."
Hopkins will make his race debut in Suzuki's new Rizla colours at the season opening Spanish Grand Prix, at Jerez, on March 26.