Top 20 finishes for Hopkins
Top 20 finishes for Hopkins

Sittingbourne’s Luke Hopkins netted two top 20 finishes at the latest round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Knockhill at the weekend.

19th in race one, a mechanical issue in race two looked like it might have ended the youngsters weekend early. The family team managed to get the Honda back out for the third and final race and he went on to finish 20th.

Free practice

With the programme condensed into two days the first free practice session of British Superbikes took place at 09:40 on Saturday morning. During this first 40-minute session Hopkins recorded a 50.255 putting him 25th.

The second free practice session started just before midday. Hopkins managed to complete thirty laps and remained 25th overall although he cut his lap time to 49.147.

Qualifying

The conditions were cloudy but dry for the 12-minute British Superbike qualifying one session at the Fife circuit on Saturday afternoon.

With this being only his second ever ride at British Superbike level Hopkins was never expecting to finish in the top six that go through to qualifying two.

However, he continued to improve his lap time with a 48.959 putting him 11th in the session and 23rd on the grid for race one.

Race One

Luke Hopkins put is a great performance on this short but demanding circuit. Although he lost a position off the line he managed to pass Takahashi, Estment and Mizuno on his way to a top twenty finish, crossing the line 19th.

Race Two

Hopkins was riding inside the top twenty and holding off Japanese rider Takumi Takahashi during the first half of the second race Unfortunately, their battle ended on lap 18 of 30 when Hopkins had to pull into the pits with a gearbox issue.

Race Three

The team were unsure whether Hopkins would be out for the final race of the weekend but the mechanical issue was not a serious as first thought. With the bike fixed up Hopkins was able to return to the Fife track to compete in race three.

He made up two places off the line  settling in to 22nd position, behind Bjorn Estment the South African rider. Hopkins was able to take advantage of an incident for a couple of riders including Estment which elevated him to 20th where he remained until the race was red-flagged in the final stages.

Speaking after the weekend, Hopkins said, “We are a small family team with quite probably the smallest budget in the British Superbike paddock by far. I am proud that we managed two top twenty finishes out of three races on what is not much more than a stock bike. We only failed to complete the second race because of a mechanic issue.

“It was touch and go as to whether we could fix the bike for the final race but we managed to. Who knows what we would achieve if we could upgrade with more superbike parts? Thanks to all my sponsors and we look forward to our home round at Brands Hatch.”

Images courtesy of Kerry Rawson

TAGS:  

 
Seo