Hopkins Comes Up .006 Short Of Title

Cycle News Staff | October 9, 2011

John Hopkins lost the British Superbike Championship today by .006 of a second, the Samsung Suzuki rider finishing third in the series finale at Brands Hatch – beaten to the line and to the championship by Tommy Hill as the two battled for second place behind race winner Shane Byrne.Byrne led from the get-go to earn his second win on the day, the HM Plant Honda rider pulling away from the pack behind him that featured five riders always within a second of each other.The focus wasn’t on Byrne so much as it was on the championship contenders – Hopkins and Hill. And those two circulated together, with Hopkins ahead until the 17th of 20 laps when Hill made his first pass. A lap later and those two would both pass sorrymate.com Honda’s James Ellison to make their battle one for second place. Ellison would stay close, but it was all about Hill/Hopkins.As the pair started their final lap, Hopkins was just .060 of a second behind Hill with everything on the line. At the finish line that margin was just .006, but it was enough to make Hill and his Swan Yamaha teams the champions while preventing Hopkins from becoming the first American to win premiere British Championship.Ellison held on for fourth place, just .103 of a second ahead of Hill’s Swan Yamaha teammate Michael Laverty. Relentless Suzuki’s Josh Brookes, who crashed out of today’s first race, was sixth – just a tad over a second behind Brookes. Michael Rutter ended up seventh on the Rapid Solicitors Ducati.British Superbikes

1.                  Shane Byrne (Honda)

2.                  Tommy Hill (Yamaha)

3.                  John Hopkins (Suzuki)

4.                  James Ellison (Honda)

5.                  Michael Laverty (Yamaha)

6.                  Josh Brookes (Honda)

7.                  Michael Rutter (Ducati)

8.                  Graeme Gowland (Honda)

9.                  Peter Hickman (Honda)

10.                  James Westmoreland (Honda)