Hopkins Tops Silverstone Superbike FP1


2011 World Superbike

Although John Hopkins was entered into Silverstone World Superbike, Round 9 of the 2011 WSBK championship, he came out storming during Free Practice 1.

The American piloted his Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 to a 2:06.667, taking the top time in the 60-minute, first Silverstone free practice session on Friday.

Hopkins, who will be the only other rider fielding a Suzuki besides his British Superbike teammate Jon Kirkham and normal WSBK rider Michel Fabrizio on the Suzuki Alstare GSX-R1000, was 0.221 of a second quicker than the Brit Leon Camier on the Alitalia Aprilia RSV4.

Taking the third fastest time was Effenbert-Liberty Ducati’s Jakub Smrz, with the returning James Toseland on the BW Motorrad Italia S1000RR.

Toseland will be looking to make up much ground this weekend at his home race, the Brit still recovering from a wrist fracture sustained at a private test in Aragon back in March; Tosleand was the final rider to post under the 2:07 mark at Silverstone.

Rounding out the top five was current series leader Carlos Checa on the Althea Ducati 1198R. Checa posted a 2:07.013. As for other riders in contention for the 2011 World SBK title, Marco Melandri (Yamaha World Superbike YZF-R1) was 14th quickest. The reigning World Superbike Champion, Alitalia Aprilia’s Max Biaggi, was 16th.

The riders will return to Silverstone this afternoon for a 60-minute qualifying practice ahead of Saturday’s sessions (qualifying practice, free practice and Superpole).

2011 Silverstone World Superbike: Free Practice 1 Results
1. J. Hopkins (Suzuki) 2’06.667
2. L. Camier (Aprilia) 2’06.888
3. J. Smrz (Ducati) 2’06.968
4. J. Toseland (BMW) 2’06.986
5. C. Checa (Ducati) 2’07.013
6. T. Corser (BMW) 2’07.064
7. L. Haslam (BMW) 2’07.100
8. M. Fabrizio (Suzuki) 2’07.126
9. T. Sykes (Kawasaki) 2’07.188
10. S. Guintoli (Ducati) 2’07.508