WSBK »

Hopkins to make WSBK debut from 16th.

John Hopkins will start his first WSBK races from 16th on the grid at Valencia on Sunday, after a steep learning curve on day two of his first World Superbike weekend.

The former Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki MotoGP rider scrapped through to Superpole with 20th in Saturday morning's second qualifying session, then faced the hectic three-part knockout Superpole system and his first ever laps on Pirelli qualifying tyres.

The new Stiggy Honda rider successfully made it through Superpole 1, but was then eliminated during the second session, leaving him to start 16th on the grid.

"It's been an interesting day with learning everything, the qualifying session in the morning and then going into Superpole,” said Hopkins. “I had to jump straight in with the qualifiers as I have never used a Pirelli qualifier in my life, but we tried to make the best of our situation.

“Unfortunately we didn't qualify anywhere near where we would have liked to,” he confessed. “We made a lot of headway with the machine in the last session. We had some chattering but managed to improve and made some positive changes to the machine. Everyone will be packed together so it will be tough tomorrow, I need to get off the line as fast as I can and gain as many positions as possible.”

“John has to make a good start and move as far forward as he can,” confirmed team manager Johan Stigefelt. “I know he will push to his limits tomorrow. I'm very happy with his performance and the way he is adapting to the bike and the tyres. It's not easy coming into the competition and qualify just within 0.7s off the front guys."

Team-mate Leon Haslam, who holds fifth in the championship heading in to Sunday's races, also went out in Superpole 2 and will start from tenth position.

"I am pretty happy with our results,” said the Briton. “We opted to use a qualifier in the first session which put me comfortably in tenth position. I used a qualifier again in the second session to get into the top eight [for Superpole 3] but Checa pulled out of the pits in front of me on my first flying lap.

“In my third lap I set my fastest time but by then the tyres were nearly finished. All in all I'm happy with the performance, to end up tenth on a third lap on a qualifier is not a bad result. We had our issues today but I am confident we can solve them for tomorrow after we've look at the data we've collected.

“I was second quickest on race tyres this morning so we've made good progress here and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Hopkins, Spanish WSBK 2009
Haslam, WSBK Race2, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, WSBK Race2, Qatar WSBK 2016
Shanley and Ron Haslam, WSBK Race2, Qatar 2016
Haslam, WSBK Race2, Qatar WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea and Haslam, WSBK Race1, Qatar WSBK 2016
Jonathan Rea and Haslam, WSBK Race1, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, WSBK Race1, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, WSBK Race1, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016
Haslam, Qatar WSBK 2016

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.


cyclebum - Unregistered

April 05, 2009 9:09 AM

Comments above were posted BEFORE morning warmup .. Hop within .5 of Spies who was VERY impressive and I expect JH to surprise with 2 solid rides from the 4th row.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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