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Eight points separate Hopkins and Hill ahead of Brands Hatch finale

Monday, September 26 2011

American John Hopkins heads into the title-deciding MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship round at Brands Hatch on 8-9 October leading Britain's Tommy Hill by just eight points following two dramatic races at Silverstone yesterday (Sunday), as the Title Fighters prepare for the final three races of the season.

Hopkins scored a hard-fought victory yesterday in the first race at Silverstone despite suffering intense pain in a fractured finger that required surgery between the Showdown rounds. His bid to score a double win ended in disappointment when he was pushed back to third in the second race.

Hopkins said: "There is no doubt that last weekend at Silverstone was the most mentally and physically draining of my career riding with the injury, but I left there satisfied with the outcome. We still have the lead in the championship going into Brands Hatch and the final races of the Showdown and that is what matters."

Suzuki rival Josh Brookes forcefully took the second win as the Australian put himself firmly back in title contention ahead of Hill, who again was on the podium for Swan Yamaha and crucially ahead of his main title rival Hopkins. Hill now has an eight point deficit to close in the final three races at his home round of Brands Hatch where he is determined to lift the coveted crown for the first time.

Hill said: "We left Silverstone second in the standings and ready for the title fight at Brands Hatch. It wasn't a bad result with podium finishes as consistency is important, but we need to be ahead of a certain American! I was pleased that I had John behind me in the second race, but I want to win. Josh came past me and I wanted to have a go but the championship tapped me on the back of my head and I knew that the points would be critical coming in to Brands Hatch and these last three races."

Brookes' victory elevated him to third in the overall standings ahead of Title Fighter rivals Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Michael Laverty who are equal on points for fourth in the battle for the title.

The Brands Hatch season finale on the famed Grand Prix circuit will feature three BSB races during the weekend, with the first taking place on Saturday following the qualifying session followed by the usual two races on Sunday. With a maximum of 75 points available, the championship fight is guaranteed to go down to the wire on the final day of the season at Brands Hatch.

The intense rivalry between Alastair Seeley and Ben Wilson in the Fuchs Silkolene British Supersport Championship will also be concluded at the Kent circuit with the pair currently separated by 14 points ahead of the final three races also with 75 points up for the taking.

MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings ahead of Brands Hatch season finale:

1. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) 609
2. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 601
3. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 568
4. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) 565
5. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 565
6. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 521

Advance adult tickets for the title-deciding raceday cost from £25 online in advance with children aged 12 and under free. For more information and to book call 0843 453 9000 or click this link.