Team Suzuki Press Office – September 6.

Tyco Suzuki’s John Hopkins put his GSX-R1000 on Pole Position for tomorrow’s British Superbike Championship ninth round at Donington Park.

Watched by his Mother - who jetted in from California for the event - Hopkins’ lap of 1min 29.555sec was under the official British Superbike lap record for the Donington Park circuit [1min: 29.677sec] giving him his first Pole and front-row start of the season.

The Californian’s Australian team-mate Josh Waters also impressed, posting seventh place for tomorrow’s opening British Superbike race at the Leicestershire venue, as his Best Man flew in from Australia to watch the action.

Hopper, who also topped two of the three free practice sessions, said: “My goal this weekend was a front-row qualifying, so it feels really good to be on Pole at a track that has always been good to me. I have really enjoyed riding here this weekend, but now we must turn it into the results we deserve after a tough start to the year. All the Tyco Suzuki boys did a good job as always, so this is as much for them as it is for me.”

Josh Waters pretty-much missed two sessions with technical problems, but was also delighted with his qualifying performance. He said: “The boys worked hard to give me a top-class bike for qualifying and we can’t be too disappointed with that. I just chipped-away and once we got into Q3 my goal was the front two rows, but with the top-three all under the lap record, and to only be 0.4sec off the Pole-time, is a good effort. The goal is a good start tomorrow and tag onto that front group and score as heavily as I can.”

Taylor Mackenzie qualified in seventh position on the third row for today’s 10-lap British Supersport sprint race, but after fighting through to fourth place, he hit a false neutral going into Goddards at the end of lap one and had to run off the circuit. He eventually finished in 10th and takes up a fourth-row grid spot in 11th place for tomorrow’s feature race onboard his Tyco Suzuki GSX-R600.

Philip Neill – Team Manager:

“It may not look like it from the outside but it has been a tough weekend for us with various obstacles for the boys to overcome – however pole position and two in the top eight makes it all worthwhile. John has been superb all weekend; he really has been like a new man and there is no doubt this is where he belongs. This is also the first time our team has been complete for a few rounds and a pole-position is the perfect way to welcome Mark McCarville back.”

Donington Park British Superbike Championship Qualifying:

1. John Hopkins (Tyco Suzuki) 1m: 29.555s.
2. Ryuichi Kiyonari (BMW) +0.039s.
3. Shane Byrne (Kawasaki) +0.122s.
4. Peter Hickman (Honda) +0.255s.
5. Stuart Easton (Kawasaki) +0.255s.
6. Josh Brookes (Yamaha) +0.327s.
7. Josh Waters (Tyco Suzuki) +0.424s.
8. Tommy Bridewell (Yamaha) +0.472s.
9. James Westmoreland (BMW) +0.578s.
10. Dan Linfoot (Kawasaki) +0.755s.

For more stories about John Hopkins, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Taylor Mackenzie, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

For more stories about Josh Waters, Click Here. For photos, Click Here.

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