Dave Hopkinson

Hi Jeff and Brad!

I hope you guys are well?
I know I try to keep you guys up to date through social media but thought I'd drop you a little update and some photos.
Things have been as busy as ever since May. The work load has been more than I can handle some days.
Since the last update its been a bit of a roller coaster. First Leon and I were called up by Puccetti Kawasaki to do a wildcard ride at the Donington park round of the World Superbike championship. We didnt expect too much given the bike wasnt great and we'd had no testing time on it but incredibly on race day we got a 2nd behind the factory KRT bike of Tom Sykes. Sadly we couldnt replicate this in race two as Leon was taken out by another rider at Goddards hairpin.
Straight from the track we then headed off to the TT and had another successful 2 weeks on the Island although I did feel we we're robbed of our first Superbike win. First pitstop was hellish slow thanks to a blocked fuel filler. Cost us 16 seconds in the stop, Hutchy won beating us by only 10 seconds. We were gutted, protested, we're proved right after the fillers were tested by the organisers but nothing was done. We also had a podium on the 600 with James getting a 3rd and then a 4th in the Senior race at the end of the week.

From the TT it was straight back to England and BSB. I'd rebuilt Leons bike in the few days between the North West and the TT. I'm not joking when I say all I salvaged was a couple of bags of bolts from a $100'000 motorcycle.
We headed to Knockhill with High hopes given how quick Leon had been there in the past. I was brought back to earth with a big bang though when after only 4 laps in practice he highsided coming down very hard. He broke 2 vertebrae and fractured his skull (see attached CCTV video).
The following week was spent fixing the bike (again) and fixing Leon. He got every possible treatment available to him and amazingly was passed fit by surgeons only 11 days after the crash. He raced that week at Snetterton to minimalise the damage to our championship hopes and although he finished both race inside the top 7, he was far from well. I had to lift him off the bike after the second race.

From here in things started to improve again with good finishes at Brands and then Thruxton. In between which Leon went off to Suzuka 8 hour where he scored an amazing 2nd place despite having to do 5 of the 8 hours himself and losing 5 kilos in weight during the race.

Then last weekend we were at Cadwell park with its famous mountain. again, Leon pushed hard knowing how close the championship is. He had a great win in race one but in race 2 a damaged selector fork meat he couldnt select a gear causing him to tip off. The silver lining was that our nearest rival Shane Byrnes Ducati didnt finish the race leaving us only 10 points behind him in the championship.
As you can imagine with only 4 rounds left this year we are going all out to give Leon the best package possible to help him bring home the British title. The work just doesnt stop.

I'd like to thank you guys again for everything you send me. I've recently received your latest box. I especially love the Kawasaki Long sleeve you sent, very cool. I also ordered a shirt, figured I needed something half "smart" in my wardrobe so may as well be an FTW shirt. Even the Mrs likes it. I also got a pair of your gloves, couldnt not have a set. Theyre different and stand out so figured theres few better ways to sneak the brand in to the regulation Team clothing for a bit of TV coverage. Even got them on the podium for you.
I honestly cant thank you guys enough for the continued support. As ever if theres anything I can do for you let me know.

Next year is also already being spoken about. Leon has asked me to stay on and Kawasaki have also asked me to stay. There will be a few conditions but when one of the big manufacturers starts to want to keep you around I figured I must be doing something right. That should all get ironed out over the next couple of weeks. Karlas UK visa is due for renewal in January and in all honesty it had to be something good to keep me here. Its going to cost us a lot of money again so I had to be sure, if not we were going to move back to the USA for good. I have said though that this will be the last time. At the end of this next VISA we'll be moving to the US.

Hope you guys are well and your families are good?
Speak soon