Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins seems to have revitalised his 2014 pace as he finished the opening day of the Showdown decider round at Donington Park fastest, ahead of Shane Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
|Hopkins ended the day on top at Donington
Photo: MCE BSB
Heading out under overcast skies this morning, Kiyonari was the rider to top the timing screens on the Buildbase BMW, at the track his team got their first BSB pole position last season. After the Japansese rider jumped to the top of the session at the mid-point, he was never challenged again and ended 0.227s ahead of Byrne in second position. Kiyo ended the session with a time of 1.30.035.
Hopkins finished just over half a second behind Kiyonari in the opening session, with the American always stating he enjoy’s riding around the Leicestershire circuit. Cadwell race two winner Tommy Bridewell sat in fourth position, as showdown challenger Dan Linfoot rounded out the top five on the Lloyds British GBmoto Kawasaki.
Continuing his stunning return, Linfoot’s team-mate James Ellison finished the first session in 20th position as he’s still suffering from his broken hip.
As riders came out on track for the second free practise of the day, Kiyonari was the first rider to sit at the top of the timing sheets. However Byrne came out fighting to finish the day fastest and he shot to the top by 0.091’s ahead of his Japanese rival.
Byrne’s lead was safe with ten minutes left on the clock, however in the closing final minutes of the day Hopkins put in a hot lap and shot ahead of both Kiyonari and Byrne with a lap time of 1.29.717, 0.058 ahead of Byrne.
Confirmed Showdown contender Josh Brookes finished the session in fourth on the Milwaukee Yamaha, ahead of Linfoot who again finished in the top five. Ellison was able to move up a few place in the second session, putting himself into 16th, 1.732s off.