Published: 06:00, 02 July 2021
Luke Hopkins finished in the points on his British Superbike Championship debut - after almost writing off his bike.
Hopkins, 19, from Sittingbourne, had completed just two laps of free practice at Oulton Park on Friday when he lost the front end and crashed.
His Honda hit the gravel trap and flipped several times, meaning a huge rebuild overnight, including a new frame and swing arm.
Completed in the early hours on Saturday morning, Hopkins - who only started racing six years ago - qualified in 26th position.
He finished a respectable 17th in the opening race of the weekend and 20th in the second before chalking up his first two points with 14th place in the final outing.
Starting 22nd on the grid in the third race, Hopkins was soon under pressure and passed by a couple of experienced riders.
They started to open a gap but, by lap 12 of 18, the teenager was enjoying a three-way battle for 14th place.
He moved up from 16th to 15th on lap 14 and clinched a points finish on the penultimate lap.
Hopkins said: “That was some turnaround. After the first free practice session I wasn’t sure if we would get the bike out again this weekend.
“Mum, Dad, my girlfriend Hannah, our mechanic and I put in a huge effort and a very late night shift to get the bike back out on track.
“I think we did really well this weekend all things considered.
“We are a small family team on a tight budget.
“The bike is basically a standard Honda CBR1000 with a few extras so to score points was amazing and a very welcome surprise in our first outing in British Superbikes.”
The second round of the season is to be held at Knockhill July 10-11.