Second straight pole for Hopkins

John Hopkins edges out Tommy Hill for a second straight British Superbike pole position at Oulton Park, with Michael Laverty and Shane Byrne completing the front row.
John Hopkins has taken his second consecutive British Superbike Championship pole position at Oulton Park after nudging ahead of Tommy Hill with his final effort.

The American has topped every practice session so far this weekend, but looked to have a fight on his hands for qualifying honours as Hill circulated the Cheshire circuit a tenth faster during the opening stages of SP3.

However, Hopkins would go on to snatch pole position from Hill by just over a tenth of a second, giving him a fine opportunity to increase his podium credits this weekend.

Behind Hill, his Swan Yamaha team-mate Michael Laverty will also start on the front row, though the Ulsterman would fall some four tenths shy of pole position.

Championship leader Shane Byrne completes the front row, though the HM Plant Honda rider will be somewhat concerned at the eight tenth margin to arch rival Hopkins up front.

Ryuichi Kiyonari heads up row two, ahead of BSB's two younger candidates in Loris Baz and Alex Lowes, the latter coming good in qualifying following a fairly low-key weekend on the MSS Colchester Kawasaki thus far.

Tyco Honda's Peter Hickman upped his form to claim eighth on the grid, while James Westmoreland and Josh Brookes sneaked into the top ten, but could do no more than ninth and tenth.

Big names to miss out on a challenge for pole position included Michael Rutter, who had to settle for 11th, Hopkins's team-mate Jon Kirkham in 13th and also James Ellison on the SMT Honda, the former BSB runner-up – who makes his return this weekend – being left way down in 19th having been a regular top ten contender in practice.

In the EVO class, Graeme Gowland grabbed pole position in 16th overall, one position ahead of WFR Honda team-mate Glen Richards.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
John Hopkins - Samsung Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Jamie Morris]
John Hopkins - Samsung Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Jamie Morris]
John Hopkins - Samsung Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Jamie Morris]
John Hopkins - Samsung Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Jamie Morris]
John Hopkins - Samsung Crescent Suzuki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Jake Dixon, RAF Reserves Kawasaki [Credit: MSV BSB Media]
Jason O`Halloran, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell, Team WD-40 Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Sylvain Guintoli, Bennetts Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Alastair Seeley, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Lee Jackson, Smiths Racing BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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July 16, 2011 10:45 PM

Hopper and Tommy Hill were the class of the field today. Hopper's Suzy looked particularly well sorted especially through Druids. Dry nearly all day despite the forecast but I fear the weather may toss a spanner into the works tomorrow.


July 17, 2011 2:53 AM

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