Hopkins Snares Silverstone Pole

Cycle News Staff | July 30, 2011

Californian John Hopkins showed the World Superbike regulars that he’s for real today by grabbing pole position for tomorrow’s two World Superbike races at Silverstone. Hopkins, riding as a wild card with his Samsun Crescent Suzuki British Superbike Series team, led the second qualifying session and then went out and won Superpole.Hopkins saved his best for last and broke Cal Crutchlow’s Superbike lap record at Silverstone in Superpole 3, lapping at 2:04.041 to earn his first pole position since qualifying on pole for the Dutch MotoGP in 2006. Hopkins’ pole is also the first for Suzuki since the Australian round at Phillip Island last year.

Hopkins barely beat out Yamaha’s Eugene Laverty for the top spot, the rider from Northern Ireland just .027 of a second slower than the former AMA, Grand Prix and World Superbike racer. Another .262 behind Hopkins was Aprilia’s Leon Camier, the Brit riding to a 2:04.303 in his best qualifying effort of the season.World Championship points leader Carlos Checa will start tomorrow’s two races from the front row after qualifying fourth on the Althea Racing Ducati – putting four different manufacturers on the front row – Suzuki, Yamaha, Aprilia and Ducati.Row two will be lead by Effenbert Liberty Ducati’s Sylvain Guintoli. He’ll be joined there by Yamaha’s Marco Melandri, Alstare Suzuki’s Michel Fabrizio and PATA Aprilia’s Noriyuki Haga.Final Qualifying

1.                  John Hopkins (Suzuki) 2:04.041

2.                  Eugene Laverty (Yamaha) 2:04.068

3.                  Leon Camier (Aprilia) 2:04.303

4.                  Carlos Checa (Ducati) 2:04.362

5.                  Sylvain Guintoli (Ducati) 2:05.546

6.                  Marco Melandri (Yamaha) 2:05.997

7.                  Michel Fabrizio (Suzuki) 2:05.997

8.                  Noriyuki Haga (Aprilia) No time

9.                  Leon Haslam (BMW) 2:05.091

10.                  Ayrton Badovini (BMW) 2:05.115