Tommy Hill maintains BSB championship lead
Tommy Hill overcame difficult weather conditions and technical set backs today, at the penultimate round of the British Superbikes Championship at Silverstone, to retain his lead in the BSB title standings. The Worx Crescent Suzuki rider rode to eighth and fifth in the two wet races and takes an 11 point lead into the final round of championship at Oulton Park in two weeks time.
The first race started dry but when rain came it had to be restarted with all riders on wet tyres. Hill in the meantime was struggling with an electrical glitch that shut down his dash board on his GSX-R1000. Although sorted for the rerun it did however prevent the installation of the wet settings in time for the start. Hill therefore found himself racing in damage limitation mode, finishing eighth.
With the electrical gremlin sorted and riding with his preferred wet setting Hill had a better second outing. However, excess wheelspin off the start line meant he had hard work to do in repassing several non Title Fighters and time lost here affected his final position, fifth.
Yukio Kagayama struggled with an imperfect set-up for the first wet race, placing 13th. For the second outing Kagayama used a revised setting that was far superior and so for the first part of the race was able to battle with the front-runners. However, he then ran into that perennial wet-weather issue of a fogging visor and with limited vision slipped down the order to finish 14th.
Tommy Hill: Im not over the moon with todays performances but I am happy with the outcome. We had a few setbacks today but the job was to keep a level head throughout, bearing in mind my championship lead, and not take excessive risks. Consequently it was my rivals who were taking the risks and so suffered the worst misfortune.
So Im looking forward to Oulton Park, its probably my favourite track of the championship. While not everything went to plan this weekend we did again find podium pace both in the wet and dry so Im confident that we have everything we need to fight for the title come the final Showdown.
Yukio Kagayama: "Not an easy day today. Ive had very little wet weather riding this year so my setting for the first race was not perfect. My rear tyre consequently shredded and I had to ride carefully to finish. For the second race we revised the setting and it was much better. For a while I thought I might be able to help Tommy by taking points from his rivals, but my visor misted up and without perfect vision I had to slow.
Jack Valentine: I was impressed with Tommy today. He may not have taken a starring role in the races but he had some issues forced upon him and to his credit he never panicked, making sure he brought the bike home, taking as many points as it was safe to do.
In that second race he showed good pace and if he hadnt been slowed by the battle to pass Dan Linfoot in the early stages he may well have been closer to the front and finished higher than the fifth he ended up with. But again, in very difficult conditions he kept his head and in this race it really paid off.
Yukio rode better today than his results imply. The conditions were difficult and from his position on the grid it was always going to be hard work. We saw some of the old fighting Yukio in that second race, but with his visor misting were left to wonder what might have been. Hopefully hell be able to put together strong performances at Oulton Park.
So to come away with an 11 point lead in the championship is fair achievement. Tommy came here without the circuit knowledge of his rivals and we saw through free practice that he gave it his all to break down their advantage. Then when the race day turned treacherous he played a calm game when so many issues could have unsettled him and caused a disaster. For me, this says weve got the right guy for the job come Oulton Park. He has the speed and he has the intelligence and hes heading into the three most important races of his life!
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship
Race one result:
MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship standings after Silverstone: