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Another superb top ten for Hopkins in Superstock 600
A difficult qualifying meant starting from 19th but Luke Hopkins, one of the youngest riders in the field, made a superb start to the 22 lap race at Brands Hatch crossing the finish line in a fantastic tenth position.
The second round of the Pirelli National Superstock 600 Championship took place at the Brands Hatch Indy track last weekend.
On Friday there were two free practice sessions although the conditions varied a lot. In FP1 the Sittingbourne rider finished a disappointed 22nd after high-siding towards the end of the session on a drying track.
The team did a fantastic job in getting the bike in shape for the Sittingbourne racer to take part in the second free practice. Although the track was still cool it was now completely dry and Hopkins managed to clock the 16th best time, a 50.339.
On the Saturday the sun was out and the track temperature much warmer for the qualifying session. He set his fastest lap time of 49.458 which put him 19th overall, just half a second from the top ten.
However, Hopkins was disappointed with the qualifying and the team decided to make a number of changes to the bike.
After spending several hours over night changing the gearing and suspension Hopkins was feeling positive for the race on Sunday.
He made a superb start from the line jumping 6 places up to 13th on the first lap. His good progress continued when on the following lap he gained another position. Hopkins then settled into a good rhythm keeping a group of about six riders sufficient distance behind him not to get sucked in.
As one of the youngest riders in the field and in his first year on a 600 it was another impressive result that saw Luke Hopkins finish tenth at the flag. It was his second top ten finish in as many races.
He lies seventh in the championship with 14 points after two rounds.
Supersport race invite
His performance in the National Superstock 600 class earned him a place in the British Supersport race later the same afternoon. The Supersport class bikes are a highly tuned 600cc machine so it is always unlikely for a Superstock bike to be running near the front. However, it was an amazing experience. Starting at the back of the grid in 36th place Hopkins went on to finish a fantastic 26th at the end of the 26 laps.
(Photo: Craig Hobbs)