Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill put in a heroic performance at the third round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Croft today to score a sixth place in the second race of the day despite still suffering with his shoulder injury sustained two weeks ago.
In the opening race of the day the changing conditions made tyre choice a gamble with the team opting for wets, which later proved to be the wrong choice and Hill and Michael Laverty endured a difficult race to finish in fourteenth and twenty-fourth respectively.
In the second race Laverty started from the third row, but whilst trying to move up the order he collided with Jon Kirkham and the pair crashed out of contention on the opening lap. Hill put in a heroic performance from the sixth row to fight the pain of his injured shoulder to work his way up the order to end the race in sixth, which was enough to maintain his fifth place in the overall championship standings ahead of Thruxton.
“Race one was disappointing with the conditions changing and going for the wrong tyre choice but I am really happy with the second race today. I knew we had the pace and that we would just need to keep chipping away. I felt reasonably comfortable when I was in a pack of riders and focused on someone ahead of me as I could try and make the pass then settle in and look at who would be next which gave me focus. That kept me going because when the safety car came out I would really feel the pain again. To go from 21st to sixth was a fantastic result for me and the Swan Yamaha team as we got some good points in the bag. Before this weekend we didn’t know what to expect or whether I would even be able to race but once I was out there the adrenaline kicked in and I have to say that is the best form of pain relief! It has been a good end to the weekend for us and we came away with some points and that was what we wanted to do and now we just need to regroup and be fit and ready for Thruxton.”
“All I can say is that I am really gutted with how today has gone. The first race was a non-event as it was a gamble on tyres and we opted for the wrong choice. For the second race I had a third row start and I knew it was going to be tough. I knew I would have to push as Shane Byrne would be getting away at the front otherwise. I had a battle with Jon Kirkham and I passed him, he then passed me back. I went for a move, we collided and both went down. It was a racing incident which is so frustrating for me and it seems that luck hasn’t been on my side here this weekend. I just need to regroup and be ready to fight for the podium at Thruxton for Swan Yamaha.”
Swan Yamaha Team Owner Shaun Muir concluded:
“In the first race it was a sheer case of the wrong decision on tyre choice, but we need to draw a line under that and move on. In race two Tommy’s performance was nothing short of heroic and was the ride of the day in my eyes to salvage a sixth position despite the pain he was suffering. Michael had a lot of determination in the second race and it got the better of him; it was a 50-50 racing incident and he just was a tad eager and paid the price. The Swan Yamaha team will now pull together and we can see what we can do for Thruxton to get back on the podium where we need to be.”
[Press Release Courtesy of Swan Yamaha. Read more at www.swanyamaha.co.uk]