News 13 Jan 2012

Swan Yamaha confirms Hill for British Superbike title defence

Tommy Hill will defend his BSB title with Swan Yamaha in 2012.

Tommy Hill will defend his BSB title with Swan Yamaha in 2012.

The Swan Yamaha team will defend their MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship title in 2012 as Shaun Muir Racing (SMR) has confirmed their line up of reigning British champion Tommy Hill and TT record-breaker Ian Hutchinson.

Reigning champion Hill will make his much-anticipated BSB return after claiming a maiden crown in sensational style in the final race of 2011 at Brands Hatch last October.

The Lingfield ace defeated rival John Hopkins by just 0.006 seconds following a last lap battle for supremacy before celebrating the victory with the fans trackside.

Hill’s return makes him the first British BSB champion to defend the number one plate since John Reynolds in 2005 and he is now determined to become the third rider in history to win consecutive BSB titles.

“At the end of last season after winning the title I was speaking to different teams and looking at the different championships, but I knew I needed to have the complete package,” Hill said. “I really wanted to stay with Yamaha and build on the results and our relationship.

“I think going into next season there is probably less pressure on me than there was last year despite being the champion. If anyone had asked me before last year what my ambitions were the answer was always to win the BSB title.

“That is now complete but now that I have it, I certainly won’t be giving it up without a fight. I am treating next year in the same way I did last season because I definitely want to keep hold of the number one plate for myself and the Swan Yamaha team.”

Hutchinson completes the team’s line-up as the record-breaking five-time Isle of Man TT winner embarks on his first full season of BSB after a dramatic comeback from a broken tibia and fibula which required several operations to save his leg.

Hutchinson had been sidelined since the crash at the penultimate round of the 2010 season before making his comeback at the Macau Grand Prix last month where he celebrated a podium finish.