Positive run for wild-card Hopkins
Date published : 03 Aug 2011 - 13:10:26
John Hopkins's experience as a wild-card entrant in the Silverstone race can surely be viewed as a positive one. The Californian rider, who this year races in British Superbike with the Samsung Crescent Suzuki Team, scored the first Tissot-Superpole win of his career on Saturday and then ran two good races on the Sunday to take fifth and seventh. The results do not tell the whole story however as the 27 year-old British-born American was right up at the front for a number of laps and was handicapped by a problem with his rear brakes in race 1 and excessive tyre wear in the second encounter.
"Boy, that was a lot of fun!" said Hopkins. "The first race was a bit of a disappointment with the rear brake pad issues, but I managed to alter my corner entry and keep my focus to bag that fifth place. Race two felt better but to keep with those factory bikes you really need to make up time on the brakes and on the gas out of the turns. I knew that would kill my tyre, so it was no surprise in the closing stages of race two when we started losing the times."
Despite these problems, "Hopper" was over the moon about being able to return to World Superbike, and the race is an important boost for the rest of the 2011 BSB series. Currently Hopkins lies second overall behind Shane "Shakey" Byrne, who was Carlos Checa's team-mate last year in the Ducati Althea team.
"Overall, I'm really pumped about this weekend. It's been huge fun and we've shown the world what the Samsung Crescent Suzuki team are really capable of. I've bagged my first-ever World SBK pole position, mixed it up at the sharp end and enjoyed the racing immensely. A huge thanks to the whole team."