BSB outfit Samsung Crescent Suzuki has announced they will compete in next weekend's World Superbike meeting at Silverstone with John Hopkins and Jon Kirkham granted wildcard entries on a pair of GSX-R1000s.
Hopkins has already announced he will ride as a wildcard in the Czech Republic MotoGP at Brno on August 14th meaning that, along with his British Superbike commitments, he will compete in three different championships over the next three weekends. Kirkham meanwhile will make his World Superbike debut and will take the total number of British riders up to seven for their home meeting.
Team Manager Jack Valentine is looking forward to seeing his BSB front running squad compete on the world stage, and do so without any pressure on them.
This is a kind of busman’s holiday, taking a break from racing by going racing. But seriously, taking a one-off ride in the WSB series is a great way for our riders to further develop their bikes and practice some race craft without the pressures of the championship they’re in – and at the same time giving the fans and sponsors an extra run-out.”
“We’ve had good success in the past with wild card rides, too, like Tom Sykes’ podium in 2008; we’re not there just to make up the numbers. And we can bet Hopper will be out to make a statement or two! We’re certainly looking to run competitively. Our only disadvantage is that we normally run under British superbike rules, which allows only one bike per rider, not two. That said, we’ve got one of the most professional teams in the sport, they’re able to turn any job around very quickly and very accurately. We should be okay.”
“This will be valuable track time at Silverstone for Hopper and will be excellent preparation for when we come back for the BSB Showdown round later this year – there’s nothing like racing to get a real grip on how a bike’s performing at a circuit. JK is needing some extra bike time, too. We’ve been working hard to find an optimum set-up for him and the WSB weekend will offer him plenty of good track time to improve his set-up. We’re really looking forward to it, hopefully we can spring a surprise or two on the regulars.”