British Superbike: Brookes On Pole, Hopkins Second

Josh Brookes sets scorching lap to take Silverstone pole and lap record ahead of American John Hopkins

Josh Brookes On Pole At Silverstone
Josh Brookes throws down a 2:03.984 to take pole and the Superbike record at Silverstone. Photo Courtesy of BSBJ.Wright

British Superbike Championship leader Josh Brookes stayed on top form at Silverstone to take pole position for tomorrow’s penultimate round of the series. The Milwaukee Yamaha rider threw down a 2:03.984, which also topped the Superbike track record at the GP circuit.

“I saw '03.9 on the dash and I thought to myself, ‘could I go for another lap?’ Which was my normal strategy, and I thought if someone could beat that lap then they deserve it because I laid everything fairly well on the line on that lap,” Brookes said about flying lap. "The team has done a really good job with the bike to give me that confidence.”

In the end, the bigger picture is the title. Brookes sits 28 points ahead of multi-time British Superbike Champion Shane Byrne. Although it’s a fairly healthy lead as time runs out in the title chase, it’s not a time to rest on one’s laurels even as Byrne continues to struggle back in 10th.

"I am still focusing on my own situation as you would in rounds two, three or four - when you are not thinking about the Championship and just working on your bike and tire conservation,” said Brookes. “I am trying to maintain that same focus - if you do the same thing you should be able to achieve the same results. This year I kept the same preparations and kept the same results on track and I don't want to change what works."

John Hopkins Silverstone BSB Qualifying

MCE British Superbike Championship

American John Hopkins still chasing that British Superbike win for his Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team. Photo Courtesy of BSBKeith Lock

Trailing Brookes by .297 of a second was the previous lap-record holder - John Hopkins. The former MotoGP star has gelled well with the Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati team on a track he favors.

“It's a track that I really enjoy and the bike is working really well around here,” Hopkins said. “Up until today I held the Superbike lap record, until Josh [Brookes] came along and beat it - he did an amazing lap.”

But the American is still chasing a podium after joining the squad at the halfway mark of the season to fill in for injured rider Jakob Smrz.

“I feel really good with the race pace and we have been doing some set-up changes, and now I just want to get away [in the races],” Hopkins said. “We’ve had a bit of bad luck throughout the year when it comes to race-day but hopefully we can repay the team and get this thing on the podium hopefully."

Completing the front row of the grid was Bennetts Suzuki’s Christian Iddon.

It was also a good day for “Team America” in the first of the two KTM RC 390 Cup World Finals races at Silverstone with two MotoAmerica riders in the top five competing against a competitive international field. Sean Kelly took topped the podium with Djim Ulrich in second and Canadian Braedon Ortt third. Fellow MotoAmerica racer Anthony Mazziotto III recovered from a big moment to take fifth.

2015 British Superbike Silverston Qualifying Results
1. Josh Brookes (Milwaukee Yamaha) 2:03.984
2. John Hopkins (Lloyds British Moto Rapido Ducati) 2:04.281
3. Christian Iddon (Bennetts Suzuki) 2:04.530
4. James Ellison (JG Speedfit Kawasaki) 2:04.532
5. Luke Mossey (Quattro Plant Kawasaki) 2:04.735
6. Jakub Smrz (Milwaukee Yamaha) 2:04.839
7. Peter Hickman (RAF Reserves BMW) 2:04.857
8. Michael Laverty (Tyco BMW) 2:04.999
9. Dan Linfoot (Honda Racing) 2:05.010
10. Shane Byrne (PBM Kawasaki) 2:05.215