Hill leads BSB into Showdown
Maxxis-sponsored Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill is to continue the defence of his MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship title, as the series approaches the final three rounds of the season with the highly anticipated Showdown, which features the top six riders. Having qualified third fastest at Donington Park on 8-9 September, Hill posted a double podium for the fifth consecutive round, finishing second in race one and third in the second race. His seven wins so far this season – at Oulton Park, where he followed up an early season victory with an impressive, first ever hat-trick in the championship in July, and at Snetterton and Knockhill – have earned him 35 podium credits, giving him a 10 point lead over nearest rival Josh Brookes of Tyco Suzuki. Hill now heads the elite group of six riders representing six different teams when the Showdown gets underway at the Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands on 21-23 September. Alex Lowes (WFR Honda) and Tommy Bridewell (Supersonic BMW) have joined defending champion Hill, Brookes, Shane Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) and Michael Laverty (Samsung Honda) as Title Fighters.
Hill’s Swan Yamaha team mate Noriyuki Haga missed the cut after struggling with a collarbone injury at Donington and finished the opening race in 21st place before a change of settings for race two saw him fight inside the top ten until he dropped to twelfth in the closing laps. Lying in overall ninth position in the standings, Haga is still hungry for podium finishes.
Commenting on the latest results, Swan Yamaha team owner Shaun Muir said: “I am pleased for Tommy as he had two strong podium finishes, especially after what was a difficult weekend for us to make him comfortable with the setting, so I consider this a good result.
“I feel sorry for Noriyuki as he tried so hard but it was a big mountain to climb to try and get back into the top six with his injury. Podiums are still achievable for Nori and he can still play a big part in the outcome of the championship.”
Going into the Showdown Brookes leads with a total of five fastest laps, while Hill is just behind with four (two of which were set during his wins at Oulton Park) and Laverty and Lowes have scored three each. At Cadwell Park (25-27 August) Maxxis was delighted to see Hill post the fastest lap yet again on his way to victory in the first race which he duly followed up with a second win.
The Swan Yamaha team has scored points at every round of the main season, which has helped deliver increased brand awareness for Maxxis. The tyre manufacturer says it will be cheering Hill all the way during the opening round of the Showdown. After Assen the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship heads to Silverstone (28-30 September) and then on to Brands Hatch for the 2012 season finale on 12-14 October.