Motorcycle Racing News Brands Hatch BSB: Hopkins Suzuki Report

Brands Hatch BSB: Hopkins Suzuki Report

British Superbike, Round 1

The opening round of the 2011 British Superbike Championship kicked off over the Easter weekend, with one rider representing the USA.

The American John “Hopper” Hopkins didn’t bring any wins home for Samsung Crescent Suzuki, but managed a fifth-place finish in Race 2.

In Race 1, Hopkins, who finished 10th at Jerez MotoGP while substituting for the injured Alvaro Bautista on the Rizla Suzuki GSV-R, started off in the top six. But while attempting to make a pass for the fifth position on lap 11, Hopkins crashed at Druids.

Hopkins was able to remount the Suzuki GSX-R1000, but finished 17th. Winning Race 1 in the opening round of the 2011 British Superbike Championship was HM Plant Honda’s Shane Byrne. He was followed by Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) and Tommy Bridewell (Tyco Honda).

Starting again from Row 2 (sixth) in Race 2 at Brands Hatch British Superbike, Hopkins ran a consistently. Halfway through the race, Hopkins took fifth from Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki), and held it to the checkered flag.

Taking the win in Race 2 at Brands Hatch was Race-1 winner Hill. He was joined on the podium by Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) and Byrne.

John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000) says: “Not my greatest day, not my worst. We started the day well; we’d made some changes overnight and that made a difference – third fastest, and my personal best of the weekend, in warm-up.

“I was pleased with my start in the first race; I got through some traffic but then got stuck behind Stuart Easton. When it comes down to tenths-of-a-second between you and then next guy, then passing isn’t easy, and so when I was pushing it into Druids it didn’t take much to run wide, and then go down. I picked it back up but couldn’t get back into the points.

“I didn’t get the best start in race two: In fact I got bumped as I went into turn one and this cost me a few places. Again I found myself coming back though and again finding Stuart Easton mid-race. I took my time second time around and made sure it was a safe pass – I wanted some points from this weekend. After that there was too-big-a-gap to the guys in front and it wasn’t worth risking another fall to try and catch them.”

2011 British Superbike: Brands Hatch Race one result:

1. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda)

2. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +1.154s

3. Tommy Bridewell (Tyco Honda) +2.667s

4. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +2.764s

5. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +3.408s

6. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +4.310s

7. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +4.496s

8. Dan Linfoot ( Honda) +5.090s

9. Martin Jessopp (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +5.100s

10. Chris Walker (Pr1mo Racing Kawasaki) +7.728s

17. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +15.965s

Race two result:

1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha)

2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.142s

3. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +0.598s

4. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +4.463s

5. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) +10.089s

6. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +11.984s

7. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +13.048s

8. Dan Linfoot ( Honda) +13.897s

9. Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +18.431s

10. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +18.473s

Photos 2-4 from an earlier test sessions

Ron Lieback
Ron Lieback
One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007, and is currently Online Editor at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of "365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).

2021 Husqvarna FC 450 Rockstar Edition First Look (8 Fast Facts)

The triumvirate of 2020 AMA 450MX National Champion Zach Osborne, 2018 AMA Supercross Champion Jason Anderson, and Dean Wilson will all be racing motorcycle...

Shoei RF-1400 First Look: New Motorcycle Helmet

The folks at Shoei made the best of our pandemic situation with their unique launch of the new Shoei RF-1400. They shipped us the...

2021 Ducati Monster First Look [13 Fast Facts + Specs]

Amid these unique times when OEMs are usually launching their lineups at EICMA, Ducati spent the past five Wednesdays releasing new models. Many, like the...

2021 Ducati Monster Lineup First Look: 4 Models; 2 All-New

There’s a big shakeup in the Ducati Monster lineup for 2021. Say goodbye to the 797, 821, and 821 Stealth. Those three models are...

2020 Ducati Monster 821 Stealth Review (15 Fast Facts)

Upgraded in 2018, the Ducati Monster 821 was joined by a Stealth version in 2019. Not merely a matte black extravaganza with exclusive graphics,...

2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally First Look (12 Fast Facts)

There is going to be a 2021 Honda CRF300L and CRF300L Rally, in Europe, at least. We’re getting our first look at these two...