’s Tommy Hill clenched the 2011 British Superbike Championship on Sunday at the Brands Hatch GP by a margin of only two points. Making the victory even more epic for the 26-year-old is the fact that the title came down to a last-lap fight with series rival, John Hopkins
, who was strongly favored to win the series after coming into the final round with an eight-point lead ahead of Hill. In the end Hill posted second place in the final race just 0.006 seconds
John Hopkins (#21) lost the 2011 British Superbike Championship by only 0.006 seconds in the final race.
ahead of Hopkins, who lost the championship mainly because of a technical problem during the opening lap of Race 2. Meanwhile, HM Plant Honda
’s Shane Byrne posted third in the overall standings after winning the final race of the season more than four seconds ahead of Hill.
"It has been a long hard season and it came down to that one race," said Hill. "Everyone wanted a Showdown and that is what we have given them; it really was make or break time and I knew I had to do everything possible to beat Hopper. Coming across the line we didn't know who had finished second and with it the title. At the moment I feel like I need someone to punch me or something to bring me back to reality. I just want to go out and race again now! I just want to celebrate now with my family, friends and the whole of the Swan Yamaha team and I need to thank everyone for their support this season."
"Well I don't feel great obviously, but I don't feel completely empty either," said Hopkins. "This has been a great season, I gave it everything I had but it just wasn't to be. So hats off to Tommy for taking the title."
“It’s been a fantastic year with a fine ending," Byrne said. "I’m not the greatest fan of the Showdown, having led all of the way through to the start of it, but then slipped back a bit. Winning the first race on Sunday after what we’d already been through this weekend was like winning the championship. I gave the guys in the team a lot of work with two crashes and because of that I needed that win more than ever."
2011 British Superbike Championship Points:
1. Tommy Hill, 647
2. John Hopkins, 645
3. Shane Byrne, 625
4. Michael Laverty, 601
5. Josh Brookes, 598
6. Ryuichi Kiyonari, 526
7. Jon Kirkham, 210
8. Michael Rutter, 164
9. Peter Hickman, 155
10. Gary Mason, 139