And claiming the title will complete a remarkable turnaround for Hopkins, whose life was on a downward spiral after career-threatening injuries led to depression, and a battle with alcohol and painkillers.‘I’d drink whatever I could.
It was getting so bad I was hiding it from ex-wife because she had enough of me. I’d say, “OK I’m finished”, when I knew damn well I wasn’t.
In 2007 he came fourth in the World Championship for Suzuki, despite riding the season with a broken wrist.
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‘I should have probably taken the year off and helped myself personally because I was in such a bad place mentally.
I figured I had to be on a bike there was no way I could sit it out.
All I’ve ever done is race a motorcycle.’He did secure a ride with Stiggy Racing Honda in World Superbikes, but he acknowledges: ‘My personal life hadn’t changed. I obviously crashed a few times, which resulted in more injuries.
It was riding in pain, the same scenario.’Growing up he said there were signs of the problems to come.
Even though I did drink a lot in my career I also trained to counter that.
After becoming sober, his marriage to his British wife Ashleigh broke down.But instead of turning to alcohol, he filled his time differently and fulfilled a lifetime ambition by passing the tests to get his pro solo sky-diving licence. She was really strong and helped me through a lot of it.‘I always wanted to be the best at anything I did,’ he said.‘When I was a teenager and drank alcohol for the first time, there was no way I could have one drink.If I drank one, a switch went off in my head and I ended up having to be completely drunk or ended up falling asleep.’Racing also brought excuses to drink.He admitted: ‘It was always considered part of the celebration if things were going well.