John Hopkins endured mixed fortunes on his much anticipated British Superbike race debut at Brands Hatch, the Suzuki rider scoring a top five finish, but also suffering a fall.
The American had placed himself on the back foot after qualifying in 11th position, but made good ground early on in race one to run in fifth position behind Stuart Easton.
However, his efforts to get past the Kawasaki rider came to no avail on lap 11 when he ran wide and slid off the Samsung Crescent Suzuki at Druids. Though Hopkins remounted, he could only recover to 17th at the chequered flag.
“Not my greatest day, not my worst. We started the day well, we'd made some changes overnight and that made a difference – third fastest, and my personal best of the weekend, in warm-up.
"I was pleased with my start in the first race, I got through some traffic but then got stuck behind Stuart Easton. When it comes down to tenths of a second between you and then next guy then passing isn't easy, and so when I was pushing it into Druids it didn't take much to run wide, and then go down. I picked it back up but couldn't get back into the points.”
Starting further up the grid for race two, Hopkins settled in sixth position, once again behind Easton, the former MotoGP rider choosing to bide his time in getting through on this occasion.
He eventually achieved his objective, though he'd go no higher than fifth position, ten seconds off the leaders
"I didn't get the best start in race two, in fact I got bumped as I went into turn one and this cost me a few places. Again I found myself coming back though and again finding Stuart Easton mid-race.
“I took my time second time around and made sure it was a safe pass – I wanted some points from this weekend. After that there was too big a gap to the guys in front and it wasn't worth risking another fall to try and catch them."