In the province of Rimini Italy, and under beautiful sunny skies, Hopkins competed in the latest round of the World Supersport 300 Championship. Home to the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli and round five of the series Hopkins was up against 37 other riders from across the globe.
It was another new track for the youngster from Sittingbourne to learn. The 2.6 mile circuit runs anti-clockwise and is one of the favourites of Valentino Rossi who lives about 11 miles from the circuit.
The race weekend began at lunchtime on the Friday with the first of two 30 minute free practice sessions. 15-year-old Hopkins used the time to familiarise himself with the track layout. During the afternoon free practice session he knocked more than three seconds off his lap time as his confidence grew.
Superpole took place on Saturday. Again the weather was bright and sunny with track temperature at 40 degrees. Hopkins was able to cut another second off his lap time as he qualified 34th for the race on Sunday with a lap time of 1:57.916.
On the Sunday the riders formed on a packed grid with a track temperature a scorching 47 degrees. Keen as ever to get the race underway Hopkins made a good start on lap one. On lap two he made a move up the inside of another rider but unfortunately he tucked the front of his Kawasaki Ninja 300. Frustrated to have come off so early and determined to continue with the race, Hopkins remounted. Unfortunately he was unable to restart the bike and his race had ended prematurely.
Luke Hopkins said, ”It was a disappointing end to the weekend. Everyone had worked hard and unfortunately I made a mistake early in the race. I’m sorry to all of them as it was my mistake.”
Hopkins is hoping to put this race behind him quickly as he has been invited to compete in the Dutch Supersport300 series at the famous TT circuit in Assen next weekend.
Photo: Craig Hobbs Photography.