It was a day of literal ups and downs for Tyco Suzuki riders John Hopkins and Josh Waters at Donington Park yesterday in the 9th round of the 2014 British Superbike Championship with the duo starting from pole position in races one and two respectively.
|Still learning and riding where he belongs – up front.
Photo: Tyco Suzuki
Having experienced top results on Suzuki powered machinery at the Leicestershire circuit in previous years, Hopkins’ confidence levels were significantly higher approaching the weekend, confirmed by stellar performances in free practice and qualifying as the likeable American secured his first pole position of the year. Unfortunately for the former BSB runner up, the potential never bore fruit after a less than ideal kick off the line, Hopkins later crashed out of the race on lap six at the Melbourne Loop.
Having failed to get up to pace in race one due to an early safety car outing, Hopkins’ fastest time left him to start from the 7th row of the grid in race two. However, the former GP star fought valiantly through the field to finish 9th overall come the chequered flag.
Australian Josh Waters experienced more success yesterday bagging both pole position for race two and a pair of top six finishes, allowing him to close further in on ex-team mate James Ellison for 8th spot in the overall championship battle.
Hopkins was decidedly disappointed but is feeling upbeat going into the final three rounds at tracks he has vast experience on. “I lost a couple of places early on in race one and was unsettled; then I made some silly mistakes and lost more positions. After that I struggled to get the rhythm going and the pace car came out. I got my head down and got things going again, but I made a stupid mistake going into the Melbourne Loop, lost the front and that ruined our day – as we had to start from the back of grid in race two. I did everything I could but burned my tyre up in the first half of the race, which meant I was just skating around in last five laps. This whole last part of the season takes us to tracks I like, so we’re still on the hunt for that first podium, starting at Assen.”
Team mate Josh Waters commented; “I’m disappointed that I didn’t make more of the pole position lap in race two, but I let myself get bashed up a bit on that first lap and had to come back from seventh position. But yeah, overall I’m happy with the weekend. We’re now starting to get inside that top six regularly and today I believe I could have run in the battle for the final podium spot. But it’s coming together and we’re at the sharp end and I’m learning all the time. I’m really enjoying riding the Tyco Suzuki GSX-R1000 and although I’ve never been to Assen before, I’m sure come qualifying we’ll be good.”