Hill wins 2011 BSB title on final corner

However, a wiggle on the exit allowed Hopkins to strike up the inside of Westfield, giving him the edge with just three corners remaining. Nonetheless, Hill came straight back past with a daring move at Dingle Dell, setting the pair up for a grandstand finish around the very final bend at Clark Curve.

Unsurprisingly, Hopkins dived for the inside, but aware his rival was attempting it, Hill hung back slightly to switch up the inside as they entered the steeped curve onto the finishing straight.

Hill nosed ahead, but Hopkins's momentum on the outside was carrying him forward, sending them across the line almost side-by-side. As it happens, the stopwatch would see Hill ahead by just 0.006secs, a bitter heartbreak for Hopkins who would have surely overtaken – to win the title – had the finish line been just a few extra metres away.

An explosion of emotion would erupt down the pit lane as Hill was confirmed as champion, with jubilation breaking out of Shaun Muir's Swan Yamaha team, while Samsung Crescent Suzuki had to imagine what could have been as they were beaten to the title for the second-year in succession, ironically by the man that rode for them just a year ago.

Hopkins's despair is made all the more heart-wrenching by the fact it was the mysterious electronic gremlin in race two, which consigned him to 12th place, that arguably cost him the title.

Nonetheless, with seven wins this season, Hill was the 'winningest' rider in BSB 2011, and comes a year after rescinding his title advantage into the final round of the 2010 season. Interestingly though, considering the 'shootout' format, Hill didn't win any of the seven 'Showdown' races.

Almost forgotten by the battle behind, the race itself was won by Shane Byrne, who secured his second win of the day to take third in the standings, though the HM Plant Honda man may be aggrieved by the fact that, under the previous points's system, he would have been crowned champion with 403 points to Hill's 398 points.

Behind Hill and a clearly emotional Hopkins, James Ellison completed a stunning weekend with fourth place, ahead of Michael Laverty, Josh Brookes – who recovered from 20th -, Michael Rutter, Graeme Gowland, Peter Hickman and James Westmoreland.

Outgoing champion Ryuichi Kiyonari, meanwhile, handed over his BSB crown with a run to 11th.

Tagged as: John Hopkins , Tommy Hill

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Jim Higgs]
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Bridewell - Milwaukee Yamaha [pic credit: Ian Hopgood]
John Hopkins - Tyco Suzuki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
John Hopkins - Tyco Suzuki [pic credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Josh Hopkins - Tyco Suzuki
Milwaukee Yamaha`s Tommy Bridewell
Milwaukee Yamaha`s Josh Brookes and Tommy Bridewell during pre-season testing in Spain
John Hopkins tests the Tyco Suzuki at Cartagena
John Hopkins - Tyco Suzuki [pic credit: Tyco Suzuki]
Tommy Aquino
Stars of the future? Jordan Simpkin, Tommy Aquino, Lee Jackson, Edward Rendell, Victor Cox, Andrew Reid and Luke Hedger.
Tommy Bridewell Milwaukee Yamaha - picture credit

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Unbelievable, one of the greatest races ive ever seen Truly epic. Mortally gutted for Hopper but Tommy caught him fair and won it at the very death. 6 thousandths of a second.....dont get closer than that. Both men can hold their head up high and stand proud Hopper for turning around his career and Tommy from coming back from so much adversity to be a very worthy champion. Well done both of them. BSB = Best National Series despite the dumb point system!

© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.