Brands Hatch BSB: Laverty takes win, Hopkins extends lead
Swan Yamaha rider Michael Laverty has won the first race of the final round at Brands Hatch ahead of fellow championship hopeful Josh Brookes.
Laverty and Brookes were in a race of their own, pulling away from the rest of the field right from the start. Despite matching Laverty, Brookes was unable to make a move as Laverty led from start to finish.
Samsung Crescent Suzuki rider John Hopkins – who led the shodown by eight points going into today – extended his lead over Tommy Hill to 11 points with a third place finish after the Swan Yamaha rider made a couple of mistakes on the first lap.
Hill sank down to sixth and had to pass Michael Rutter and James Ellison before he could think about catching John Hopkins in third place.
Despite a gap of two seconds Hill managed to catch Hopkins and made his move into Paddock Hill bend on the penultimate lap. But Hopkins re-took third place at Surtees.
Hill then passed Hopkins on the brakes going into the final corner of the final lap, but ran slightly wide, allowing Hopkins to get the drive over the line.
HM Plant Honda’s Shane Byrne – starting from 19th after a qualifying crash – managed to fight his way up to sixth, behing the impressive James Ellison.
John Hopkins 625
Tommy Hill 614
Michael Laverty 590
Josh Brookes 588
Shane Byrne 575
Ryuichi Kiyonari 521
Race one results
Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha)
Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.396s
John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +8.766s
Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) +8.873s
James Ellison (Sorrymate.com Honda) +9.007s
Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +11.681s
Michael Rutter (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +13.752s
Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +13.923s
Graeme Gowland (WFR Honda) +18.452s
Martin Jessopp (Rapid Solicitors-Bathams Ducati) +24.763s