Hill leads BSB after showdown round 1
Tommy Hill made good on his pole position qualifying performance to place first and second today at round ten of the British Superbikes championship at Croft in North Yorkshire. The Worx Crescent Suzuki rider battled another GSX-R1000 - that of Relentless Suzuki by TAS's Michael Laverty - in two closely matched encounters and so now leads the BSB title standings by 16 points over Laverty.
In both races Laverty had led off the line. In race one Hill passed Laverty on the third lap and maintained his lead to the chequered flag. In the second race Hill was behind Stuart Easton for the opening laps, allowing Laverty to build a lead. But once past Easton, Hill then closed the gap on Laverty, taking the lead on the 15th lap. Laverty wasn't to give up though and after a series of passes and repasses Laverty took the win by just 0.202-seconds.
Tommy Hill: "I'm really happy with the first race, for once it was a race that went to plan. I was able to push on and feel comfortable. I was very comfortable in the second race, too. I was able to pull Michael (Laverty) in quite comfortably and I sat behind him for a few laps to see his strengths. Then I passed him as planned - only when I wound the wick up he went with me! It was a good race and in the end he was able to do what i had done in the first race, to get in front and to protect his line.
"So I can't be 100% happy, but I'm in the best position of anybody in the championship so I'm not complaining. Michael was great today and he's shown this is no three-horse race as it's been called, all the guys in the top-six are there for a reason. Bring on Silverstone!"
Hill's team-mate Yukio Kagayama endured a tougher day, still stiff and sore from a big crash in final practice yesterday. Kagayama made good progress but his 16th and 14th place finishes weren't what he'd planned for.
Yukio Kagayama: "Not a good weekend for me. My team was again a big support to me rebuilding my bike yesterday, and today helping me to improve the set-up. We finished the weekend with much better lap times in race two but this is a narrow, bumpy and very fast track and it takes a lot to master. I think Silverstone will suit me much more, a world championship status track, the sort that I'm more used to."
Jack Valentine, team manager: "Another brilliant job by Tommy and the team today. The hard work we put in over recent months is certainly paying off. It was great to see another Suzuki in contention, too. We've now got two GSX-R1000s at the top of the table - a great outcome for the day.
"We're going directly to Silverstone now for some testing on the new track. As ever we can't be complacent, I'm sure the opposition will be fierce as ever and clearly we have to watch for attacks coming from all directions! I'm hoping we'll see the resurgent Yuki at Silverstone, too - that's a track he has to feel most at home on."
MCE Insurance 2010 British Superbike Championship Round Ten, Croft
Race two result:
MCE Insurance 2010 British Superbike Championship standings after Croft: