Points for Hopkins in first National Superstock 1000 race
Sittingbourne’s Luke Hopkins made a great start to the 2020 Pirelli National Superstock 1000 championship on his Kawasaki with a points scoring finish in race one and plenty of hard racing in the second.
Luke Hopkins took two 600cc club titles and was runner up in two 1000cc club championships in 2019. For 2020 he has stepped up to the British Championship and first race weekend in the has already begun to show what he might be capable of.
After two free practice sessions on the Friday Hopkins was in the top twenty fastest stock 1000 riders in a highly competitive field. Qualifying took place early morning on Saturday when Hopkins laid down a lap time of 1:08.863. This put him 23rd on a grid of 40 riders.
Late on Saturday afternoon a full grid lined up on the National circuit at Donington Park. Hopkins initially gained a few places before reverting back to his original grid position. However, by lap five he had begun his move forwards moving up to 20th. He continued his excellent progress gaining 16th place and battling with Braydon Elliott and Shaun Winfield. This hard work was almost undone when another rider came off at the chicane. Hopkins had to be alert to avoid the fallen rider’s bike as it slid across the track almost collecting the number 16 on its way. The 18-year-old then went on to cross the line in 14th and claim his first two championship points at this level.
The second race was delayed after two earlier attempts were red flagged. The race was then shortened to 15 laps and rescheduled to late Sunday afternoon. Hopkins was unable to emulate his performance from race one but certainly had to get stuck in just to defend his position on track.
He had a great battle with the Aprilia of Luke Jones, the BMW of Shane Richardson and the Suzuki of Brayden Elliott. After 15 hard fought laps he crossed the line in 17th narrowly missing out on further championship points.
Luke Hopkins said,” Firstly, I hope Richard Cooper is OK after his crash earlier today and I and the team wish him a speedy recovery. The first race was amazing. This level is so competitive and there are some very experienced riders. So I was delighted to score points in my first weekend. There is plenty for me to learn at this level and I cannot wait to continue that process at Snetterton on 21st to 23rd of August.”