Team Valvoline EMGO Suzuki’s John Hopkins led 11 of 17 laps, including laps 6 through 16, but got block-passed in the final corner and crossed the finish line 0.122-second behind in the AMA Formula Xtreme race at Laguna Seca.
Hopkins charged forward to take the lead and held off his challengers for all but that last corner, but his finish vaulted him into second place in the championship, 25 points behind. A win pays 36 points, and there are five races left in the series.
Hopkins’ teammate, Grant Lopez, is still recovering from a badly dislocated right shoulder, with about half normal strength in the arm, requiring him to make virtually all motorcycle control inputs with his left arm alone. Lopez finished sixth on the day and is third in series points., 11 behind Hopkins.
In the 600cc Supersport race at Laguna Seca, Hopkins ran as high as second place in early laps but finished sixth, while Lopez was 16th.
The team’s Ben Spies came from behind to lead the 750cc Supersport race but crashed two laps from the finish when he hit oil dropped by another rider’s machine.