2011 World Superbike
For the first time in the 2011 World Superbike Championship, an American rode as a wildcard entry in the series after John Hopkins raced Sunday at Silverstone, round nine of 13.
The Samsung Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000 British Superbike pilot began impressing from the first day of WSBK action at Silverstone, Hopkins topping the timesheets in Free Practice 1.
Hopkins then took the second qualifying practice aboard the Samsung Suzuki, and ultimately the pole position for 2011 Silverstone World Superbike, setting a new lap record during the Superpole session.
But problems arose when raceday arrived; in Race 1 at Silverstone, Hopkins had a rear-brake issue, but was able to battle his way to a fifth-place finish. In Race two, after a battle with Yamaha World Superbike riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty, and the reigning World SBK Champion Max Biaggi aboard the Alitalia Aprilia RSV4, Hopkins took seventh.
John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Suzuki GSX-R1000) says: "Boy that was a lot of fun. 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 tire, so it was no surprise in the closing stages of race two when we started losing the times. Overall, I’m really pumped about this weekend.
"It’s been huge fun and we’ve showed the World what the Samsung Crescent Suzuki team is 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."
As for Hopkins British Superbike teammate, Jon Kirkham finished 14th and 15th, respectively.
2011 Silverstone World Superbike Results
1. Carlos Checa 38m06.477s
2. Eugene Laverty +3.304s
3. Marco Melandri +4.782s
4. Leon Haslam +7.116s
5. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +11.057s
6. Sylvain Guintoli +21.899s
14. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +57.310s
1. Carlos Checa 38m03.361s
2. Eugene Laverty +2.274s
3. Marco Melandri +3.675s
4. Max Biaggi +3.960s
5. Leon Camier +4.405s
6. Sylvain Guintoli +10.958s
7. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) + 11.387s
15. Jon Kirkham Suzuki (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +42.579s