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Jun 30, 2014 - 04:09 PM
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Hopkins Vows To Fight-Back At Brands
Posted by: newsla on Jun 30, 2014 - 04:01 PM
Hopkins Vows To Fight-Back At Brands

It was a tough weekend at the fourth round of the British Superbike Championship at Knockhill for Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins and Josh Waters, but with three weeks to prepare for round five at the Brands Hatch GP circuit, 2011 BSB runner-up Hopkins has vowed to come out fighting.


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Said Hopkins: “The package is definitely there and the potential is there also. We just need to put it all together like I had done in FP3. I was able to put together quite a few good laps. I did a long stint and although I was around sixth on the time sheets, my ideal lap-time was just as good as anybody.

“It’s just a matter of sticking it all together at Brands as we really do have the potential. We do need to improve in some small areas, but I’m going to be busting myself on the run-up to Brands, just as I have done for the past month as I’m sick of not being on the podium.

“Brands Hatch GP is a good circuit for me and I think the Tyco Suzuki will go really well there. The Suzuki handled really well for me there in the past, so there’s no reason why we can’t come good there again.”

Recounting his weekend at Knockhill, Hopkins added: “We were making good headway in and around the top five, but we made a horrible qualifying practice. I myself made a mistake not putting a lap together in Q2. It started raining quite heavily on the screen and when the group ahead of me pulled in, I also pulled in.

“I was right on the bubble of qualifying, so could have done with staying out there and putting in a time, as being so far back on the grid at a track like Knockhill, where it’s really difficult to pass, it was always going to make for a difficult race one, and it did.”

Speaking of race one he said: “I had a horrible start and from then it was just a matter of trying to make-up positions. With some of the acceleration deficit we were having, I was trying to set-up to make a pass on the corner before, which means running it a little bit wide and getting it picked-up early, so I can get a considerable drive on them.

“Problem was, every time I was trying to set-up the person ahead of me, someone would come shooting up the inside. That means I would lose a position then have to use the rest of the lap to get past them and produce a big enough gap to do the same again.”

Race two at Knockhill showed a lot more promise for the American, but a small error halted his chances of a business-end finish, as he explained. “In the second race we had a better start and got away with the group. I just made a big mistake on the brakes coming into the last turn.

“I could see that I was getting in there really, really hot and I ended-up locking the front and smoking off the front tyre. I messed-up the back shift, hit a false neutral and ran off the track, leaving me well behind the group.

“Fortunately I was able to get back by the group that had passed by me but there was miles of track ahead of me to the front guys. We’ve just made it hard work for ourselves at the start of the season, but hopefully we can turn a corner at Brands on the GP circuit.”

Team Manager Philip Neill summed-up the Knockhill event, saying: “Although it was another difficult weekend for us, I must say Knockhill 2014 was an excellent event all round, so well done to all involved.

“Unfortunately we don’t have a lot to say in terms of results: a weekend that promised so much with John’s pace throughout practice did not deliver what I feel we deserved. Everyone is working extremely hard and I know the package of the GSX-R and our riders is capable of so much more. Hopefully we can show our full potential very soon, starting at Brands Hatch.”

Knockhill BSB Results:

Race 1 – John Hopkins 9th / Josh Waters DNF.
Race 2 – John Hopkins 11th/ Josh Waters 16th.

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