Jack Valentine expects his Samsung Crescent Suzuki team to be challenging at the front once again as the British Superbike Championship takes to the Brands Hatch GP circuit this weekend.
They were certainly flying during their World Superbike outing at Silverstone last weekend, with John Hopkins taking pole position as well as two top-ten finishes. Valentine adds that his team are entering this weekend on a high and ready to continue their impressive form.
“The team are really buzzing after the Silverstone weekend. Coming after two very successful tests it was another demonstration of our true potential. And as the BSB championship gets closer to the final Showdown we’re again contenders for the title.”
“Hopper’s clearly on top of his game. After qualifying fastest at Silverstone it was always going to be a tall order for him to back that up with a podium finish – the factory-backed WSB superbikes have an edge on us on top speed – but again he showed his ability to take his bike to the very limit of its capability and bring home the high-scores.”
Hopkins will be racing on the GP layout for the first time but after testing here earlier in the year, Valentine expects him to be racing at the front once again.
“Earlier in testing here at Brands Hatch GP we found within his first half an hour on track Hopper was on BSB race pace. Importantly he says he loves this circuit. He’s having fun out there. For everyone else in the paddock that’s a dangerous mood for Hopper to be in!”
Jon Kirkham didn't enjoy the same level of success on his World SBK debut but the Derby rider put in a strong performance on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit earlier this year. Valentine has high hopes for Kirkham this weekend as he looks to secure a place in the Championship showdown.
“JK’s probably suffered a few rookie-blues this season, he’s had his fair share of misfortunes, but he’s still in the fight. JK’s on the edge of the Title Fighters top-six and with six races over the next two rounds he stands a very good chance of netting the points he needs to be in the running for the Showdown. He’ll remember he scored a strong fifth finish at Brands at the 2011 season opener, so he’ll be looking to get back to his top-six form over the weekend.”
“All in all, we’re definitely looking forward to some strong performances this weekend!”