News 28 Aug 2011

Hill fastest during free practice at Cadwell Park British Superbikes

Tommy Hill was fastest on Saturday during free practice at Cadwell Park.

Tommy Hill was fastest on Saturday during free practice at Cadwell Park.

Tommy Hill grabbed the early initiative in this crucial triple race ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship and though the Swan Yamaha rider is already qualified as a ‘Title-Fighter’ he will be going all out for victories at Cadwell Park.

Hill set the pace in the dry of the morning session to head off the challenges of the series leading HM Plant Honda rider Shane Byrne.

Byrne is also through to the elite six in the final three round Showdown, along with the injured John Hopkins, but the standings leader had a few scary moments early on in the first session.

“I had gone out on a new tyre and on the second lap nearly lost the front three or four times,” Byrne said. “I came straight back in and changed it, returning to the session as was pleasantly surprised to be second fastest.”

Josh Brookes riding the Relentless Suzuki ran third fastest in the session as he prepared for races that are vital to his title hopes and the Aussie was marginally faster than the reigning three times title winner Ryuichi Kiyonari.

The Japanese rider is in sixth place in the standings and under pressure from Rapid Solicitors Bathams Ducati rider Michael Rutter and an error this afternoon saw him crash at the Mountain, although uninjured.

There are only five points between Kiyonari and Rutter in the standings and by the end of a hard fought session Kiyonari had the edge over his rival though by less than a quarter of a second. Peter Hickman who is also in contention for a top six placings on the Tyco Honda was also rapidly approving.

His rivals Michael Laverty on the second Swan Yamaha and Chris Walker aboard the Pr1mo Kawasaki were in close contention as was Honda’s James Ellison.

Glen Richards, who leads the BSB-EVO class title chase on the WFR Honda, completed the top 10.

The hopes of all of the riders of improving their lap times were thwarted by a heavy thunderstorm that not only delayed the program, but left the Lincolnshire circuit in a tricky mix of very wet and fast drying sections.

Byrne, who sat out the early part of the second session, put in five laps the best of which came in 1:34.625secs, but enough to eclipse the determined Brookes by 0.281secs.

Hill put in a hard working 15 laps in the session using the track time to good effect.

“We used the afternoon as a bit of test session trying various tyres,” Hill said. “As for the races, I want to win them. I am a racer and that is what it is all about. It is down to passion, going out to win and score those important podium credits.

“I do not want to be in a position of losing the title by a point or two by not going all out for maximum podium credits here – I’ve got to get them.”

Gary Mason another rider in with a chance of becoming a title fighter was fourth fastest on his MSS Colchester Kawasaki ahead of Rutter and Walker.

Jon Kirkham who is also competing for a place as a Title Fighter in the Showdown was thirteenth fastest on the lone Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki.