News 26 Sep 2011

Hopkins and Brookes split Silverstone British Superbike victories

Australia's Brookes battles to race two win to keep BSB title hopes alive.

Suzuki's John Hopkins continues to lead the British Superbike Championship.

Suzuki's John Hopkins continues to lead the British Superbike Championship.

John Hopkins and Josh Brookes shared the hard fought victories in the penultimate round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship Showdown at Silverstone, leaving the title chase going down to the wire at the final round at Brands Hatch in two weeks’ time.

Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki’s Hopkins was suffering from intense pain following further surgery to the badly broken finger on his right hand, but was soon settled into pressurising Swan Yamaha’s pole starter Michael Laverty for the first half of the opening race.

Tommy Hill riding the second Swan Yamaha was running third ahead of HM Plant Honda’s Shane Byrne who was benefitting from radical changes made to his bike after qualifying as he headed off Relentless Suzuki’s Josh Brookes.

Hopkins was not content with running second and was closing down Laverty before diving ahead of him at Stowe on the ninth lap and held off a return attack to take his fifth victory of the season by a quarter of a second.

“It was a good win but hard to get ahead of Michael and when I did I was not able to make the break away from him,” explained Hopkins. “The pain was severe at the end of the race and I racing with a special glove that I had made to protect the finger. If you want to win the championship, then you have to keep going.”

Hill took third place ahead of Brookes and Byrne with Graeme Gowland a stunning sixth as he won the BSB-EVO class race aboard his WFR Honda.

Brookes had earned pole start for the second race of the afternoon, having earlier set the fastest race lap, but he was slow off the line, running seventh on the opening lap but then carved his way through the pack.

Laverty had again made the break but Hopkins was leading on the second lap and coming under pressure from Byrne who had forced ahead of both Laverty and Hill with Peter Hickman and Jon Kirkham making life difficult for Brookes. The Aussie though had taken them both inside six laps and was focussed on the leading quartet.

Byrne led for two laps but then Hopkins went back in front, and then Hill led but the threat from Brookes was growing and he swept into the lead at Club before going on to take his second victory of the season as the red flags came out on the final lap due to the Kawasaki of Chris Walker blowing its engine.

“That was one of the sweetest wins of my career, I’m overwhelmed by how good it feels to get out there and fight for it and win it. I didn’t want to get criticised for making some harsh moves but then I got angry and went for it,” explained Brookes as he reflected on his victory by 1.633secs ahead of Hill and Hopkins with Laverty fourth from Byrne.

Hopkins despite his discomfort extended to eight points his advantage over Hill as they go into the triple race finale to decide the champion at Brands Hatch in two weeks time.

Gowland completed his daily double in the BSB-EVO class but his WFR Honda teammate Glen Richards, second to him in each of the races sealed that title.

Alastair Seeley took his fourth double victory of the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport Championship season at Silverstone. After battling with rival Ben Wilson over the opening laps he edged ahead of the title leader before the Gearlink Kawasaki rider suffered a technical failure on the penultimate lap as the title goes down to the wire at Brands Hatch.

Click here for detailed results