British SuperbikeMotorcycles

Hopkins Claims Maiden BSB Win In Dramatic Second Race

2 Mins read

John Hopkins became the first American rider to win a British Superbike race after snatching victory from Michael Laverty at Oulton Park.

The Crescent Suzuki rider benefited from a mid-race safety car period which brought him onto the tail of early leader Stuart Easton, before hitting the front on the penultimate lap. Easton made a lightning getaway from the outside of the front row to lead through Old Hall ahead of Josh Brookes and EVO leader Alex Lowes.

Lowes was one of the stars of race one and briefly held second place before Brookes and Michael Rutter went back past him and the Lincoln rider began to drop back down the field.

Easton and Brookes made a break at the front leaving Rutter a distant third, with Michael Laverty and the HM Plant Honda duo in close attention behind.

Laverty tried to give chase but went straight on at the Hislop chicane, returning to the track right in front of the helpless Rutter. As they tried to avoid each other, the opportunistic Hopkins sneaked through into third, but that would soon become second.

On the approach to the Britten's chicane on lap nine, Brookes lost the front end of his Suzuki as he challenged for the lead, sending the GZX-R1000 cartwheeling over the kerb, narrowly avoiding Easton in the process.

With pieces of the shattered bike all over the track, the safety car was deployed, reducing Easton's sizeable lead to nothing. When the race restarted on lap 12, Easton led from Hopkins, Laverty, Kiyonari, Rutter and Byrne.

Laverty was the first rider to launch a bid for victory, first overtaking Hopkins on lap 14 before ending Easton's stay at the front a lap later.

Hopkins was never far behind though and took full advantage when the Swan Yamaha man got a poor exit out of Island bend. Laverty desperately tried to fight back on the final lap but missed the chicane for the second time, dropping all the way to fifth.

Hopkins didn't put a wheel wrong on the final lap, while Easton took second following Laverty's error. The final podium position went to Shane Byrne who got the better of teammate Kiyonari on the final lap.

Michael Rutter claimed sixth despite the best efforts of Jon Kirkham, who finished 0.019s behind him. Peter Hickman finished eight with Loris Baz and Gary Mason completing the top ten.

After mixing it with the more powerful machines earlier on, Alex Lowes finished an eventual 14th, but still beat Scott Smart to the EVO class victory.

Race Two Result: Oulton Park (18 Laps)

1. John HOPKINS (Samsung Crescent Racing) 30:13.082

2. Stuart EASTON (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.221

3. Shane BYRNE (HM Plant Honda) +0.521

4. Ryuichi KIYONARI (HM Plant Honda) +0.633

5. Michael LAVERTY (Swan Yamaha) +1.026

6. Michael RUTTER (Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati) +2.930

7. Jon KIRKHAM (Samsung Crescent Racing) +2.949

8. Peter HICKMAN (TYCO Honda) +7.183

9. Loris BAZ (Motorpoint Yamaha) +7.326

10. Gary MASON (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +7.925

Riders Championship: After Rounds 3 & 4

1. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 70 Pts

2. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 59

3. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 58

4. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing) 56

5. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 45

6. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 35

7. Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati) 34

8. Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) 29

9. Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) 27

10. Dan Linfoot ( Honda) 23

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