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Hopkins MRO 600 championship runner-up

October 9, 2018

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Hopkins gets a win and a second as he warms up for World Supersport 300 season

 

Sittingbourne motorcycle rider Luke Hopkins competed in his first races of the 2017

season at Brands Hatch at the weekend. Last year Hopkins was runner-up in the Team

Green Junior Cup on his Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the first round provided him with a

great opportunity to get some track time. The first round on the Brands Hatch Indy

circuit also gave him an opportunity to meet old friends before his first race at Aragon

in the World Supersport 300 series.

Despite riding on a Kawasaki Ninja 300 set up for his brother, Hopkins qualified on pole

position with a lap time of 56.743 seconds. In the first 10 lap race on Saturday

afternoon he made a good start and led the race up to the half way stage. He slipped

back to second but continued pushing the leader right until the end of the race missing

out on the win by just 0.188 seconds.

Late Saturday afternoon Hopkins was back out on track taking part in the second 10

lap race. As the riders raced from the start line Hopkins got some air, but managed to

end the first lap in third position. The front three riders were lapping within three

tenths of a second of each other. On the sixth lap Hopkins moved into second place

before taking the lead going through Graham Hill and Cooper Straight on lap seven.

Hopkins was making a break finishing the lap half a second ahead of the rest of the

field. Unfortunately he clipped a kerb with three laps remaining which sent him sliding

out of the lead.

On Sunday there were two more races to look forward to. In the first Sunday race he

led from pole position and slowly began to open a gap at the front over his rivals. By

the end of lap six Hopkins had opened a gap of over three seconds on the rider in

second place. Then rain began to fall and after several riders slid off the circuit Race

Direction brought out the red flag. The race had gone sufficient distance to be declared

a result and Hopkins took the victory.

The final race was held in damp conditions as rain had fallen during the day. Hopkins

got away well but unfortunately his luck did not hold out. In the frenetic battle of

riders in the first few corners Hopkins slid off with another rider on the opening lap.

Luke Hopkins said, “It was a great weekend and we got to meet up with some good

friends. The purpose was to gain track time and have some fun as our main goal this

year is the World Supersport 300 Championship. It was a little strange riding the bike

set up for my brother, which he will compete on later this year. The win was nice but

now we all need to focus on Aragon in Spain for the first round on 31 st March through

to the 2 nd April.”

Words: Jeremy Ryan MustHaveMediaServices.com

Photo: Craig Hobbs Photography

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