It was a tough weekend at Knockhill for Tyco Suzuki with less than appealing results for both John Hopkins and Josh Waters, but with three weeks to prepare for round five on the Brands Hatch GP circuit – 2011 BSB runner up John Hopkins has vowed to come out fighting.
“The package is definitely there and the potential is there also. We just need to put it all together like I had done in FP3 at Knockhill. I was able to put together quite a few good laps. I did a long stint and although I was around sixth on the time sheets, my ideal lap time was just as good as anybody,” said Hopper.
“It’s just a matter of sticking it all together at Brands as we really do have the potential. We do need to improve in some small areas, but I’m going to be busting myself on the run up to Brand, just as I have done for the past month as I’m sick of not being on the podium.
“Brands Hatch GP is a good circuit for me and I think the Tyco Suzuki will go really well there. The Suzuki handled really well for me there in the past, so there’s no reason why we can’t come good there again.”
Recounting his weekend at Knockhill, Hopper added: “We were making good headway in and around the top five, but we made a horrible qualifying practice. I myself made a mistake not putting a lap together in qualifying two [Q2]. It started raining quite heavily on the screen and when the group ahead of me pulled in, I also pulled in.
“I was right on the bubble of qualifying, so could have done with staying out there and putting in a time, as being so far back on the grid at a track like Knockhill, where it’s really difficult to pass, it was always going to make for a difficult race one, and it did.”
Speaking of race one he said: “I had a horrible start and from then it was just a matter of trying to make up positions. With some of the acceleration deficit we were having, I was trying to set up to make a pass on the corner before, which means running it a little bit wide and getting it picked up early, so I can get a considerable drive on them.
“Problem was, every time I was trying to set up the person ahead of me, someone would come shooting up the inside. That means I would lose a position then have to use the rest of the lap to get past them and produce a big enough gap to do the same again.”
Race two at Knockhill showed a lot more promise for John, but a small error halted his chances of a business end finish, as he explained. “In the second race we had a better start and got away with the group. I just made a big mistake on the brakes coming into the last turn.
“I could see that I was getting in there really, really hot, and I ended up locking up the front and smoking off the front tyre. I ended up messing up the back shift, hit a false neutral and ran off the track, leaving me well behind the group.
“Fortunately I was able to get back by the group that had passed by me but there was miles of track ahead of me to the front guys. We’ve just made it hard work for ourselves at the start of the season, but hopefully we can turn a corner at Brands on the GP circuit.”
Team Manager Philip Neill summed up the Knockhill round, by concluding: “Although it was another difficult weekend for us, I must say Knockhill 2014 was an excellent event all round, so well done to all involved.
“Unfortunately we don’t have a lot to say in terms of results: a weekend that promised so much with John’s pace throughout practice did not deliver what I feel we deserved. Everyone is working extremely hard and I know the package of the GSX-R and our riders is capable of so much more. Hopefully we can show our full potential very soon, starting at Brands Hatch.”
Knockhill BSB Results
Race 1 – John Hopkins 9th & Josh Waters DNF
Race 2 ¬– John Hopkins 11th & Josh Waters 16th
Supersport – Taylor Mackenzie
Race 1 – 9th
Race 2 – DNF