Samsung Crescent Suzuki head to the crucial 'second' round of the 2011 British Superbike title showdown at Silverstone with form on their side as John Hopkins looks to continue his excellent form.
Fresh from his double victory at Donington Park, one that saw him nose ahead in the fight for the 2011 title against Tommy Hill and Shane Byrne, Hopkins will be making his second appearance at Silverstone having competed as a wild-card at world championship level earlier this season.
Stunning the regulars to claim a pole position – and two top seven finishes -, Hopkins will be looking to finish what he started two months ago and increase his advantage in the BSB standings.
"We're certainly ready for this next – penultimate – round,” said team manager Jack Valentine. “The last round – Donington Park – was the best round of the year so far for us and both riders have certainly hit their top form at just the right time in the championship.
"Hopper's been very vigilant as to the condition of his injured hand and with further surgery last week he's confident he's in the best condition to face this weekend's racing.
"As well, the team is as prepared as it can be. We know Silverstone well after our WSB wild card appearance there earlier this year. We took from that a lap-record-beating set-up that is also strong for the full 14-laps of a BSB race. It's a high speed circuit so we've been working on the engine to find a few more horsepower – ideal for those long straights.
"It's going to be a testing weekend, though. We're not complacent and we know we need to be there at the end of every race, ideally at the top of the podium."
Valentine also has high hopes for his second rider Jon Kirkham, who took valuable points away from Hopkins's rivals at Donington Park with a fine run to fifth and third.
“JK meanwhile will be ordering 'more of the same' as the form he's enjoyed since Cadwell Park has made hi m a real headache for the other Title Fighters. He's doing everything a team-mate should in support of a championship contender. I couldn't ask for more.”