Crash.Net BSB News
Laverty quickest as Hopkins plays it safe
24 September 2011
Michael Laverty moved to the top of the practice timesheets ahead of a vital British Superbike qualifying session at Silverstone, as John Hopkins decided to watch from the sidelines.
The Swan Yamaha rider moved to the head of order with 20 minutes of the session remaining, but just as his rivals were preparing to usurp him, the red flag was deployed to clear oil dropped by Chris Walker's expiring Pr1mo Kawasaki.
With few riders able to improve when the pitlane was re-opened, Laverty emerged a clear four tenths up on the in-form Jon Kirkham on the Samsung Crescent Suzuki.
However, most eyes were on the Suzuki garage as John Hopkins, championship leader and pace setter in FP1 and FP2, opted not to even venture onto track, the American deciding to rest his injured finger in the confidence that he has the pace to challenge for pole position regardless.
His main title rival, Tommy Hill, was third quickest, ahead of Peter Hickman, Shane Byrne and impressive EVO rider Graeme Gowland on the WFR Honda.
Alex Lowes continues his steady trajectory up the order on the Motorpoint Yamaha in seventh, ahead of Josh Brookes, Martin Jessopp and Tommy Bridewell. Further back, Ryuichi Kiyonari was a lowly 17th quickest.