British SuperbikeMotorcycles

Hopkins and Kiyonari Share Wins at Snetterton 300

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John Hopkins and Ryuichi Kiyonari shared the race victories on a dramatic day's racing at the new Snetterton 300 circuit, full of incidents and accidents.

The battle for victory in race one was a straight fight between Hopkins and Tommy Hill. The American led away from pole position but the Swan Yamaha man took advantage of a mistake from Hopkins at Oggies on the first green-flag lap following a safety car period.

Hopkins shadowed his rival until the final lap before diving up the inside into Riches. Hill fought back into the Montreal hairpin but left the door open on the exit, allowing 'Hopper' to take his second BSB victory by 0.274s with Shane 'Shakey' Byrne claiming the final podium position. Michael Laverty came through from 12th on the grid to finish fourth while Ryuichi Kiyonari beat Jon Kirkham to fifth, grabbing pole for race two in the process.

Hopkins started alongside the reigning champion in second a quickly took the lead at the first corner. Kiyonari looked to repass the Crescent Suzuki into Montreal and this caught out Hill, who ran into the back of the HM Plant Honda and dropped out of the race.

Any hopes Hopkins had of disappearing at the front ended on lap eight when the race was brought to a halt by the red flags. Alex Lowes' MSS Colchester Kawasaki suffered a mechanical failure, spilling oil on the track and it caught out Simon Andrews and Steve Brogan coming into Riches.

Both riders were sent careering into the run-off area with the two bikes spiralling high into the air upon making contact with the tyre barrier. Thankfully, both riders escaped any serious injuries with Andrews suffering a broken leg and Andrews damaging his shoulder.

When the race resumed, Hopkins set his sights on a double victory but Byrne had other ideas and pulled off a stunning move at Coram on the penultimate lap. Desperate not to lose points to his championship rival, Hopkins responded at Oggies on the final lap but only succeeded in running them both off the road.

Third-placed Kiyonari was the grateful recipient as he cruised past to take his second win of the season with Josh Brookes following him home in second. Hopkins still managed to salvage third with Byrne a frustrated fourth ahead of Michael Laverty and Martin Jessopp.

Despite losing out on a potential win, Byrne still leads the standings by 19 points and is all but guaranteed a place in the end-of-season showdown, as is Hopkins in second place. Tommy Hill remains third while Kiyonari has moved above Michael Laverty into fourth. Josh Brookes is the big winner though. Having started the weekend in 12th, the Australian has leaped into the top six following his first podium of the year.


Riders Championship (After Round 6: Snetterton 300)

Pos Rider Bike Team Wins Points
1 Shane Byrne Honda HM Plant Honda 3 201
2 John Hopkins Suzuki Samsung Crescent Racing 2 182
3 Tommy Hill Yamaha Swan Yamaha 3 140
4 Ryuichi Kiyonari Honda HM Plant Honda 2 120
5 Michael Laverty Yamaha Swan Yamaha 1 119
6 Josh Brookes Suzuki Relentless Suzuki by TAS   91
(Top Six After Round 9 Qualify for Championship Showdown)
7 Stuart Easton Kawasaki MSS Colchester Kawasaki   89
8 Peter Hickman Honda Tyco Honda   85
9 Jon Kirkham Suzuki Samsung Crescent Racing 1 84
10 Gary Mason Kawasaki MSS Colchester Kawasaki   79
11 Loris Baz Yamaha Motorpoint Yamaha   79
12 Michael Rutter Ducati Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati   72
13 Chris Walker Kawasaki Pr1mo Racing   62
14 Dan Linfoot Honda Team   49
15 Martin Jessopp Ducati Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati   41
16 Alex Lowes Kawasaki MSS Colchester Kawasaki   39
17 James Westmoreland Yamaha Motorpoint Yamaha   39
18 Tommy Bridewell Honda Tyco Honda   33
19 Glen Richards (E) Honda Team WFR   23
20 Ian Lowry BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad   9
21 Steve Brogan Honda Jentin Racing Honda   8
22 Simon Andrews (E) Kawasaki PR Racing Kawasaki   8
23 John Laverty BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad   6
24 Jake Zemke (E) Honda Team WFR   6
25 Hudson Kennaugh (E) Aprilia Splitlath Motorsport   5
26 Barry Burrell (E) BMW Buildbase BMW Motorrad   5
27 Scott Smart (E) Ducati Moto Rapido Ducati   2
28 Patric Muff (E) Honda Tyco Honda   2
29 Tom Tunstall (E) BMW Doodson Motorsport   1
30 Graeme Gowland¬†(E) Honda Team WFR   1
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MotoGP, Moto2, Moto3 and WorldSBK writer for The Checkered Flag. Contact: [email protected]
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