Hopkins happy with race pace despite slow start

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John Hopkins says he’s confident that he has the pace on his Moto Rapido Ducati to challenge at the front in tomorrow’s two MCE British Superbike races at Assen, after taking a surprise front row start in this afternoon’s qualifying.

Losing the whole of Friday’s track time to a pair of mechanical problems, he was left far behind for today’s qualifying – but still pulled it out of the bag for third.

“We’re hopefully turning it around. We’ve normally started out with an awesome Friday and then things start turning around on Saturday then things kind of go bad on Sunday, but now we’ve got it out of the way on Friday, things turned around Saturday afternoon and hopefully have an awesome Sunday.

“The guys are working really, really hard, they’ve been busting their butts and like I said when we had mechanicals at the start of my stint it was all things that would have been ironed out in testing, had we had that option at the beginning of the year, but without that luxury there’s not a lot we can do.”

Moreover, the American is struggling with mechanical problems only being discovered by the team, admitting that because of the significant differences in BSB rules with those of other classes, the team have been caught out.

“We have to use parts that no one else does – World Superbikes and IDM have electronics where we have to use the clutch – and these parts have never been used that way before. The factory has been working really hard on helping us out though, and we’re getting a lot better; a lot more secure.

“When I’m riding at this pace and using the clutch that vigorously there’s going to be problems, but the factory have been really good with all new reinforced parts for this weekend, and the issues we had yesterday had nothing to do with the clutch. All teams go through it and the team haven’t had an engine failure since 2012, so it was just one of those unlucky things.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer