JOHN HOPKINS and Josh Brookes shared the victories in the penultimate round of the British Superbike championship at Silverstone.
Race one saw Michael Laverty convert his pole position into an early lead in the first half of the race, John Hopkins despite having recently undergone further surgery to his broken finger settled into second and pressured the Swan Yamaha rider. Tommy Hill on board 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.
Not content with second, Hopper passed Laverty by out-braking 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. Hill took third place ahead of Brookes and Byrne with Graeme Gowland a stunning sixth as he won the Mirror.co.uk BSB-EVO class race aboard his WFR Honda.
Brookes earned pole for for the second race of the afternoon, after setting the fastest race lap, but he was slow off the line, running seventh on the opening lap but the Australian 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. The Aussie though had taken them both inside six laps. Byrne, Hopkins and Hill swapped the lead, but it was Brookes who would take his second win of the season as he swept into the lead at Club. The red flags came out on the final lap due to the Kawasaki of Chris Walker blowing its engine.
Hopkins extended his advantage over Hill in the championship by eight points as the head into the last round, the triple race finale at Brands Hatch in two weeks.
1.John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki)
2.Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +0.252s
3.Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +0.587s
4.Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.897s
5.Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +1.473s
6.Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +23.767s
1.Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS)
2.Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +1.633s
3.John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +1.949s
4.Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +2.110s
5.Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +2.324s
6.Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +2.562s
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings ahead of Brands Hatch season finale:
1.John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 609
2.Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 601
3.Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 568
4.Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 565
5.Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 565
6.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 521