John Hopkins moved to the British Superbike Championship this year as a year of all or nothing last chance. Hopkins the once top level rider in MotoGP has been on a string of bad luck since leaving three years before. Having had a go in World Superbikes and a string of injuries Hopkins was starting to question his own commitment to racing and his desire to continue.
The Hopper moved to the UK and kicked his Alcohol problem and really had an awakening moment in the UK. The Hopper landed a ride for the Relentless Suzuki team owned by the same team owner as Rizla Suzuki MotoGP squad Paul Denning and has had a stunning year as rookie with all new tracks to learn.
The British Superbike series is very similar to World Superbike with double header races and really close nail biting races. Hopper instantly became a threat in the championship even as a rookie to all new trackes. The season championship was decided on the last race and last corner of the year which was a tripple header race weekend at Brands Hatch. The two racers fighting for the championship were Tommy Hill on a Swan Yamaha R1 and John Hopkins on the Relentless Suzuki.
The race was probably one the most exciting races let alone finale I have ever witnessed. The passing was fierce for the last 2 laps between Hill and Hopkins with passing and daring moves on every corner. Hill had the better drive out of the last corner to barely beat Hopkins to the line by .0006 seconds separating the two. What an amazing race and even more exciting Championship. Congratulations to both the riders for keeping it clean and exciting.
MotoGP should take some notes from this race on how to make some exciting racing!!
Final MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings:
- Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 647
- John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 645
- Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 625
- Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 601
- Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 598
- Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 526