Silverstone: Hopkins blows pole to WSBK stars !
Invited to the British World Superbike event, British Superbike rider John Hopkins has just won the Superpole! The Anglo-American is ahead of Laverty, Camier, Checa and Guintoli. Melandri is 6th, Biaggi 11th. At the end of the two qualifying sessions at Silverstone dominated by Checa then Hopkins, the 16 World Superbike riders…
Invited to the British World Superbike event, British Superbike rider John Hopkins has just won the Superpole! The Anglo-American is ahead of Laverty, Camier, Checa and Guintoli. Melandri is 6th, Biaggi 11th.
At the end of the two qualifying sessions at Silverstone dominated by Checa then Hopkins, the 16 World Superbike riders qualified for the Superpole were in the same second! The fight therefore promised to be fierce and it was…
Excluded from the Superpole event – which takes place in three phases where the four slowest drivers are successively eliminated and the times of the remaining drivers reset to zero each time – Corser, Lowes, Lascorz, Rolfo, Lai and the guest driver Kirkham will have to start from the back of the grid in tomorrow’s two races.
Max Biaggi (Aprilia Alitalia), who fell at the start of the first Superpole session, only had eight minutes – instead of 12 in total – to qualify for Superpole 2. He left on his mule wearing one of the two Qualifying tire liners available throughout the Superpole event, the 2010 champion finally got out of this mess.
This is not the case, however, for Jakub Smrz (Ducati Liberty), James Toseland (BMW Motorrad Italia), Maxime Berger (Ducati Supersonic) and Tom Sykes (Kawasaki Racing Team) who did not cross the second step of the Superpole and will leave in that order tomorrow on the 4th row.
The disappointment is particularly deep for Maxime Berger who had set the 4th fastest time in the qualifying sessions, just behind his – our! – compatriot Sylvain Guintoli. We can bet that the n ° 121 will find its way back to the outposts during the race.
But the disappointment is even greater for Max Biaggi, since the Italian has not managed to follow his great championship rivals Checa and Melandri in Superpole 3: the Aprilia rider n ° 1 only signed the 11th fastest time and n therefore did not participate in the last Superpole session !
Biaggi will therefore start from the third row on Sunday, behind the two BMWs of Haslam and Badovini and ahead of Aitchison’s Kawasaki. Podium hopes are not forbidden for Max, however: last year, his teammate Leon Camier finished 3rd in the second round despite a 16th position on the grid !
At the head of the second row, Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati Liberty) will have much less effort to make to interfere in the leading car during the two rounds and try to score – very – big points in order to tumble into the Top 10 in the general classification !
Our adored Frenchie will have, to motivate himself when the red lights go out tomorrow, serious rivals to manage: alongside his 1098R will be the R1 of Marco Melandri (Yamaha WSBK Team), the GSX-R of Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki Alstare) and Noriyuki Haga’s RSV4 Factory (Aprilia PATA).
We find the same four machines on the first row, but in a different order: the Ducati of Carlos Checa (Team Althea) takes 4th place with an excellent time of 2 ‘04.362. A handful of hundredths of a second, Leon Camier’s Aprilia (Team Alitalia) takes third place.
Two pilots were faster than their little comrades, and even faster than the record holder Cal Crutchlow (the "Mister Silverstone" of the 2010 edition, read)…
Rookie Eugene Laverty turned 23 thousandths faster than Cal last year, and posts his No. 58 Yamaha ahead of all of his 2011 World Superbike Championship competitors. So the Irishman should have won his first Superpole … Unfortunately for him, a wildcard preceded him !
By completing the 5902 meters of the English circuit in 2 ‘04.041, John Hopkins created a sensation this afternoon! At the controls of the GSX-R 1000 which he is riding this year in British Superbike, n ° 21 – n ° 211 this weekend – proves that he has the level of the very best in the world and will play the referees tomorrow between Checa, Biaggi and Melandri.
The performance of "Hopper" is all the stronger as he has not yet ridden on the Silverstone track in a British Superbike … For the rider of the Suzuki Crescent Hopkins team – currently 2nd in his national championship – this weekend is also akin to a great rehearsal of the grand final of the English championship.
Called "Show down", this final phase includes the last three rounds of the championship which will be played at Donington Park, Silverstone – hold on! – then Brands Hatch. Three meetings that will see the six best drivers of the "regular" season compete for the title !
At the same time, John Hopkins will be keen to have two great races tomorrow in World Superbike in order to impress the managers of the WSBK teams of course, but also those of MotoGP. Next week in BSB, next weekend in MotoGP alongside Bautista: Hopkins is not idle this summer to return to the international stage.
See you tomorrow on the Site to follow the two Superbike races live. Also on the program, the Supersport round with our compatriots Foret and Marino and the British Davies, Lowes and Rea as well as the pole-sitter of the category, the Spaniard Salom !
WSBK Silverstone Superpole Ranking2011
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