The CDH Racing rider was at Knockhill in Scotland, hoping for better luck after a crash at Snetterton in his last race.
Despite having to use the spare engine in the Globalnet Telecoms Yamaha, while the main engine is being rebuilt, Hipwell consistently improved his lap times and was 14th quickest after Friday afternoon’s second free practice session.
The weather closed in for Saturday morning’s qualifying session and the CDH Team decided in the conditions to use an old wet rear tyre for this session.
But this turned out to be a big mistake and Hipwell was soon losing grip as the tyre had passed its best and his lap times were nowhere near as good as the previous days.
As a result he ended up in 20th place on the grid for the afternoon’s qualifying race.
Fortunately the weather had improved and on the narrow and twisty Knockhill circuit Hipwell got away to a reasonable start and had picked up three places by the end of the third lap.
He was however being gradually caught by the Kawasaki of Dan Cooper who forced his way past him on the 14th lap, opening up a gap of nearly half a second by the end of the penultimate lap.
On the last lap Hipwell got the bit between his teeth and caught and passed Cooper on the last corner and out ran him to cross the finishing line in 16th place, just three hundredths of a second in front.
His fastest lap of the race would see him start in 17th place on the grid for Sunday afternoon’s main race.
The weather held off for the race with Hipwell getting away to a good start and by the third lap was up into 14th place having passed both Cooper and Irwin.
The fourth lap saw him back in 16th as both riders got past him.
Lap seven saw Hipwell up into 14th as he passed Irwin and a rider in front crashed out.
On the next lap he was promoted into 13th, as another rider crashed out, but was being closed down by the Yamaha of MacKenzie who had passed him by the end of the of the 15th lap.
With one of the front runners running wide he was in 13th place at the end of the 17th lap.
With the eighth placed rider dropping out on the 22nd lap Hipwell was now in 12th place but nearly a second adrift of MacKenzie, and unable to make any inroads as the race came to a finish.
The CDH Racing Team were happy with this result as Hipwell, despite the Globalnet Telecoms Yamaha being a bit down on top speed, was riding a lot better and for the next round at Oulton Park the team should have the main race engine available as they look to continue recent form.