Published: 06:00, 10 September 2020
Luke Hopkins managed to finish 24th and 25th in the two Pirelli National Superstock 1000 races at Silverstone at the weekend, writes Jeremy Ryan.
This is his first season at this level and whilst the results were in line with his pre-season expectations, the team and Sittingbourne rider were a little frustrated as they struggled with the bike set-up all weekend.
A special tyre was introduced for the 1.6 mile Silverstone National circuit last weekend and although not alone to suffer, the team toiled with limited success to get the set-up right for the bike.
The first free practice session saw Hopkins stay out to get as many laps under his belt and begin to learn how the tyre worked. He did the same during the second session but was unable to improve his lap time. Hopkins put in more laps than any other rider and set a fastest time of 56.320 to place 31st on the starting grid.
In race one, Hopkins gained three places at the start and was running in a large group of 11 riders in the early laps.
He found himself in a long battle with a couple of other riders who managed to frustrate his overtaking manoeuvres blocking him lap after lap.
With the chequered flag waved after 24 laps his distinctive black and yellow Kawasaki had progressed to 24th position.
With the grid based on lap times from race one, Luke Hopkins was elevated to 26th position for the start of race two on Sunday. He came under pressure early on and dropped to 26th on lap seven but regained that position to cross the line in 25th place.
Hopkins said: "This weekend was tough for us. Although as I have previously said this year, I was hoping for top 25 finishes so we managed that in both races. Everyone had this special tyre for the weekend but we just couldn’t find a good set up for it.
"With all the right hand turns we were unable to get much grip and we were destroying it so quickly. We did the best we could this weekend.
"The next round is at Oulton Park from 18th to 20th September where we feel confident we can make progress.”