Tommy Hill leads British Superbike Championship
Worx Crescent Suzuki's Tommy Hill leads the 2010 British Superbike championship after a win and a second place at round one at Brands Hatch today.
Hill yesterday qualified second fastest and he used the front row start to great effect today in race one, shadowing rival Ryuichi Kiyonari for two-thirds distance before passing and making good the race win. In race two he closely followed James Ellison but in view of their very fast pace and the complications of passing lappers on the tight track elected to take a safe second place finish to secure the championship lead.
Tommy Hill: "After all the work that the team has put in over the winter and in the build up to the race this weekend it was just fantastic to come away with the race one win.
"The bike's been consistently good all weekend and I was able to sit behind Kiyo and work out a race plan. At two-thirds distance I thought it was time to make a move. I calculated that Surtees would be the place to make it as it would be a surprise to him and mess up his momentum.
"Hats off to James Ellison in race two, he rode well. The pace was really fast, even in the last laps we were lapping as fast as we have all weekend. The grip had gone but we were still doing 45s. To come away with a first and second is brilliant, I really have to thank the team for putting me there. I'm really looking forward to Thruxton now for more of the same."
Hill's team-mate Yukio Kagayama had a tougher day. His first race was compromised by the bolt breaking that holds his gear lever, meaning he rode for two-thirds of the race stuck in third gear. Impressively, despite this handicap, he finished 12th and set ninth fastest time in the race. In race two Kagayama started well and despite his third row start was inside the top six when he highsided at Clearways on lap ten.
Yukio Kagayama: "My first race I feel was unlucky and then lucky. To lose the gear change was unlucky, but being stuck in third gear was at least a good gear, sometimes too short, sometimes too long, but okay for making a lap.
"In the second race it was all going well, I was happy but then I crashed. Again I feel lucky, as it was a fast crash but I'm okay, only a little pain.
"So I'd like to say congratulations to Tommy for his win and podium. At Thruxton, for sure, I'd like to join him on the podium!"
Jack Valentine, team manager: "Tommy showed our true potential this weekend. We put in a lot of hard work into pre-season testing, very hard work as we had a lot of new equipment to test and we struggled with the weather. But that hard work paid off today with Tommy netting two fantastic results.
"Yukio was extremely unlucky today, firstly in that first race and then again when he highsided in the second - he was looking good for a fifth or even fourth place finish there. I've no doubt Yukio has the potential to be there with Tommy. So we're looking forward to Thruxton and building on our championship lead."