Frustration at Knockhill for Sittingbourne’s Luke Hopkins
After the disappointment of failing to finish in the last two rounds Hopkins was really positive about the trip to Scotland.
The 1.3 mile Knockhill circuit was bathed in sunshine all weekend giving ideal track conditions for the riders. On top of that the track had been resurfaced leading to some very quick lap times. It was all new track for Hopkins, however, he had never ridden the circuit before.
Hopkins was lucky to be out on track after hitting a stricken bike in the last round at Snetterton. The collision catapulted Hopkins into the air. He fortunately avoided serious injury but his bike was almost destroyed. After help from Moto Liner, HM Racing UK, Race Bike Bitz, Hel Performance Brake Lines and GB Racing, combined with a lot of elbow grease from Hopkins himself, the 16-year-old made it to Knockhill.
In FP1 he set the 20th best time of 53.193. Although he improved his lap time to 52.919 in FP2 that left him down in 24th and he was uncomfortable with the bike. Overnight the team worked hard on some adjustments to the bike to improve his feeling with the machine.
The overnight changes helped Hopkins but the bike was still proving difficult to ride. The traction control had a fault and would kick it randomly. A 51.864 toward the end of the session did move Hopkins up to twentieth on the grid.
Again the team worked hard to get Hopkins’ bike ready for the race but he was only able to complete three laps before the technical fault with the traction control returned. It was causing him to lose power out of the corners and proving a danger to him and other riders, so he pulled into the pits to retire.
Luke Hopkins said,” It was a disappointing weekend. I was really positive after we put so much work in getting the bike back together after Snetterton. We came all the way from Kent to Scotland but an electrical fault in the traction control meant it was not safe to ride the bike. Now I’ve got some time to find the fault or replace the part before the next round at Brands Hatch.”