John Hopkins on BSB pole

John Hopkins (photo by double red)John Hopkins continued his resurgent performance at the ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike at Donington Park as the American fired his Tyco Suzuki to the top of the times ahead of triple champions Ryuichi Kiyonari and Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne.

The Tyco Suzuki rider headed off the determined challenges of Title Fighters Kiyonari and Byrne as they continue their chase a record-breaking fourth British title. Hopkins powered in a scorching lap of 1m 29.555s to top qualifying for the first time in three years at the circuit where has last celebrated a pole position in the Championship. The pole position was even sweeter for the American after he was sidelined with a technical problem in this morning’s final free practice session.

Hopkins scored a double win at the Leicestershire circuit in 2011, he said: “This is a really big treat. I didn’t do a lap in this morning’s free practice because of an electrical problem but the boys worked hard and got me back out there. I really enjoy this circuit because it is more about momentum and that is what we have with the Tyco Suzuki. We have a good pace and I am looking forward to the races.”

Kiyonari closed his Buildbase BMW to within 0.039s of Hopkins and reflected: “I am a little disappointed as I had gone faster in Q2 than in Q3, but I have a good pace for tomorrow and I am ready for the races.”

Byrne who is aiming to end a run of nine races without a win, was content with third on his Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki. The championship leader said: “Being on the front row here is so important, as it is about getting away and keeping the rhythm. They will be two long and difficult races tomorrow but we have some things to try in warm up ahead of them. We want to try and get those final Podium Points ready for the Showdown.”

Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki’s Stuart Easton and RAF Reserves Honda’s Peter Hickman recorded identical lap times to secure second row starts along with Aussie Josh Brookes on the Milwaukee Yamaha. Brookes bounced back from a crash in free practice at Redgate this morning to head off Josh Waters on his Tyco Suzuki and Tommy Bridewell. James Westmoreland and Dan Linfoot completed the top ten qualifiers.

Datatag Extreme Qualifying
1: John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) 1m:29.555s
2: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Buildbase BMW) +0.039s
3: Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.122s
4: Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves Honda) +0.255s
5: Stuart Easton (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) +0.255s
6: Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) +0.327s



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