Aug 6, 2011
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John Hopkins at Brands Hatch.
Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki's John Hopkins just missed out on pole position for the opening race of the weekend at Brands Hatch in this afternoon's qualifying session as Tommy Hill edged out his title rival by 0.047s as the build up to race one continues.
Hopkins had set the pace in free practice two and looked set to try and repeat his Oulton Park pole position performance at the Kent circuit, but despite a last lap dash the American was forced to settle for second, but is ready to take the challenge to his Swan Yamaha rivals in the race this afternoon.
Hopkins said: "The Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki has been working well and this time we just got beat out in qualifying by Tommy! We pulled it out of the bag at Oulton Park but we just weren't able to do it in that one; hats off to him though as it was a great lap. I am still learning all the time but this circuit is so crucial to the championship and I am feeling happy with how it has gone so far this weekend. It has been a busy one so far and I know it is going to be close out there; we just need to get a good start and try and get out of this current Yamaha sandwich in the race!"
The next round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship is a triple-header round on the Grand Prix circuit at Brands Hatch this weekend.
More, from a press release issued by British Superbike Championship organizers:
HILL SHATTERS RECORD TO GRAB POLE FOR SATURDAY AFTERNOON RACE
Top six qualifiers for Saturday race
1 Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 1m 25.357secs
2 John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Suzuki) 1m 25.404s
3 Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 1m 25.601s
4 Joan Lascorz (Kawasaki World Superbike Team) 1m 25.827s
5 Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 1m 25.936s
Tommy Hill smashed the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit lap record to put his Swan Yamaha on to pole start for this afternoon's opener to the triple race eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
The Lingfield rider who is currently third in the standings put in a scorching time of 1m 25.357secs, to beat off the challenge of his title rival John Hopkins to secure his third pole start of the campaign. Hopkins aboard the Samsung Crescent Suzuki ran 0.047secs slower in a hectic finale to the session.
Michael Laverty riding the second Swan Yamaha lapped in 1m 25.601secs to be third fastest while Kawasaki World Superbike team rider Joan Lascorz completes the front row with the series leading Shane Byrne starting his HM Plant Honda from the second row, fifth fastest.
The Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati duo of Martin Jessopp and Michael Rutter are on the second row together with Motorpoint Yamaha rider James Westmoreland. Gary Mason on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki and the fastest rider in the Mirror.co.uk BSB-EVO class Graeme Gowland complete the top ten qualifiers.
Reigning champion Ryuichi Kiyonari faces an uphill struggle in the race which starts at 16.15 this afternoon as he lines up on the fifth row of the grid.
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