Laverty fastest as Hopkins watches on

John Hopkins decides to rest his injured finger ahead of qualifying at Silverstone, with Michael Laverty taking over the top spot in FP3.
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.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Laverty - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
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]
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]
Haslam, Byrne, Mossey, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Shane Byrne, Be Wiser Ducati, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Leon Haslam, JG Speedfit Kawasaki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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September 24, 2011 4:39 PM

Hopkins has emerged as the class of the field...baring incident, the title is now in his grasp...hopeing for more First Class racing to the end...points be damned, these boys have given us a show...throw a blanket over the top 3.

Pizdoff - Unregistered

September 24, 2011 11:56 PM

You know, when the guy who has just won the Suzuka 8 hour ... again.... and has more BSB championship wins than any other rider - ever - says there are problems with a bike somehow I don't see myself rushing out to ask someone who thinks 'a kick up the jacksy' is the solution anything much at all. Or more simply 'TD-eous', no one did ask.

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