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Solid weekend for Hopkins
Solid weekend for Hopkins

Kent’s Luke Hopkins had a solid weekend at the latest round of the Bennett’s British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park last weekend aboard his Black Onyx Security Honda.

Luke updates us on his weekend:

Oulton Park in Cheshire, a spectacular, undulating circuit with lots of tricky, blind corners. It was where I scored points on my BSB debut last season so hopes were high for another good weekend.

The free practice sessions on Saturday and Sunday were pretty uneventful and I finished practice in 29th place. However, just before qualifying started on Sunday it began to drizzle so we had to make a last minute decision on tyres. 

After a chat with my rider coach and team consultant Terry Rymer, we went to full wets and it was the right call as the track was super greasy. I pushed on early in the session and for much it I was in the top six and in with a chance of going through to Q2 but in the end I dropped a couple of places as the track became even wetter and finished 13th out of 20 riders which would put me 25th on the grid for race one. I got some great coverage for my sponsors on Eurosport though, as the cameras followed me for a full lap!

In race one I didn’t make the best of starts and dropped a few places on the opening lap but I settled in to a decent race pace and caught and passed Leon Jeacock and Dan Jones to finish the race in 26th place taking a second off my qualifying lap time in the process. However, on Sunday evening when Remi was servicing the bike, he and Alvaro identified an issue with the rear brake calliper carrier which meant we had to take off the Suter swingarm and refit the stock unit. 

For the second meeting in a row, a problem with the swingarm saw the team working well in to the evening to rectify issues beyond our control but by 10pm the bike was good to go for race two; a fantastic team effort! Thank you.

Races two and three on Bank Holiday Monday were tough. To be honest, after reverting back to the stock swingarm I lost a little bit of feel with the bike but I still managed to finish 24th in race two and 22nd in race three and pretty much matched my PB lap time from last year. 

Nevertheless, it was a frustrating weekend and I had hoped for a much better showing. We go again at Donington Park in three weeks’ time. Let’s hope we have a trouble free and un-interrupted weekend and the team can avoid any late nights! See you there.

Pictures supplied by MotoAero Photography.