2011 British Superbike
In April, Swan Yamaha’s Tommy Hill broke his shoulder at Oulton Park, the injury quickly becoming an omen for hopes at the 2011 British Superbike Championship title.
But this weekend at Knockhill, round five of the 2011 BSB Championship, Hill dominated, sweeping every practice session, qualifying and both races. When things wrapped up on Sunday, Hill would take the first race by almost nine seconds, and the second race by 2.4 seconds.
The racing was anything but easy Sunday, as the British Superbike grid had to race under wet conditions at Knockhill. But with hard work from Hill and his Yamaha team, they pulled off the first double-win of the 2011 Britsh SBK season.
In the first race, Hill took a commanding Superbike win from the American John Hopkins on the Samsung Crescent Suzuki. Taking the final spot on the Superbike podium was HM Plant Honda’s Shane Bryne.
Hill and Byrne went head-to-head for most of the second race, but once Hill took the lead with nine laps to go, he would finish 2.464 seconds ahead of Byrne. His teammate Michael Laverty would take third. Hopkins would crash in race 2.
Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha YZF-R1) says: “Adrenalin is the best pain-killer of all – I didn’t feel a thing till I took the chequered flag. To come here and do this, pole start, lap record, two wins, it really is unbelievable – you could say a big weight off my shoulder.
“It’s been a tough time not only with the shoulder, but also with gambles on tyres as the weather has intervened too often making it so difficult. Winning the first race was a relief, such a big result and a necessity for me as it puts us back where we should be.”
With two podium finishes, Byrne has extended his lead to 172 points, leaving Hopkins in second with 141. Hill sits in third with 120 points.
2011 Knockhill British Superbike Race one results:
1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 24m 35.133s
2. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki) +8.907s
3. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +9.123s
4. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +15.354s
5. Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki) +21.816s
6. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +21.823s
Knockhill British Superbike Race two results:
1. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 26m 12.073s
2. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +2.464s
3. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +2.728s
4. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +10.983s
5. James Westmoreland (Motorpoint Yamaha) +17.370s
6. Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +18.557s
Knockhill British Superbike Championship standings:
1. Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda)172
2. John Hopkins (Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki)141
3. Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha)120
4. Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) 95
5. Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) 89
6. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda)84