Samsung Crescent Racing head to Croft in North Yorkshire this weekend for the third round of the 2011 British Superbikes championship.
The GSX-R1000 Suzuki-mounted team is looking to build on the BSB win that John Hopkins sensationally captured at Oulton Park just over a week ago. Hopkins, making his debut at the Cheshire circuit took two podium finishes (2-1) to boost his position in the Championship to fourth, while team mate Jon Kirkham came back from a spectacular practice crash and lowly qualifier to grab two hard-fought seventh place finishes. This weekend, the team will be ordering more of the same – another two podiums for Hopkins, but hopefully two top-fives for Kirkham.
Jack Valentine – Team Manager:
“Oulton Park was a great weekend for us. Hopper more than delivered on his promise, and with good timing. Our main sponsors launched their Galaxy S II smart phone by way of special livery on our bikes and so we were able to match the fastest rider with the fastest bike and the fastest phone! Jon Kirkham underlined that in his own way by capturing the fastest lap in the second race. Samsung were over the moon with how it all played out. And, of course, so were we!
“It’s a fresh start this weekend though; as always you start again from scratch. Hopper should be refreshed as he’s been home to the States to celebrate his mum’s 60th – he’s probably been skydiving a bit, too. And JK’s all revved up as he’ll have his bike equipped with the same chassis specs as Hopper’s had for the last meeting. So we’ll be looking for more podiums from Hopper and we think JK should find his way to the top-fives he very much deserves. In fact such is JK’s progress we’re sure it won’t be much longer before he too is on to the podium.”
“Croft will be more of the same for me – more searching for the race lines, more learning about how BSB works. And hopefully more podiums. We came here during pre-season testing so I know something of the track. And I know to respect it. There are some tricky sections – really bumpy – so I’ll not go too fast too soon. It’s going to be a weekend of detailed study.”
“I’ve got the latest chassis spec to try this weekend and I’m really looking forward to that. At Oulton I had some grip issues and that made it a struggle to make top-five, but with the new set-up hopefully I’ll make an improvement.
“I’m finding that the team is very good with new technologies and set-ups. The electronics package is really impressive and making a big difference to my lap times. It comes down to the small details as well, like the thumb brake we first fitted for Oulton Park. I’ve never been a user of the back brake before, but with this device I’m finding it helps get that last little bit of performance.”