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Apr 14, 2012

Hill Roars To British Superbike Pole Position At Thruxton

Tommy Hill.
Round 2 Thruxton 14/15 April


Qualifying top six times:
1: Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 1m:15.260
2: Ian Lowry (Padgetts Honda) +0.475s
3: Michael Rutter (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) +0.604s
4: James Westmoreland (WFR Honda) +0.645s
5: Chris Walker (Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki) +0.676s
6: Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda) +0.676s


Tommy Hill gave himself a headache as he scorched to the pole start for the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship on a challenging, drying Thruxton circuit.

The reigning champion forgot to put in his ear-plugs as he powered his Swan Yamaha into the final part of the grid deciding session for the first of the two races. "The noise was deafening and I was very close to coming in I have a bit of a headache coming on and I will be hearing the bike all night now," Hill explained.

Hill, a race winner at the corresponding race two years ago was not complaining. He said; "At the start it was a bit of a do or die effort but we had to get the job done and this is the good start I needed to finally put the memories of the first round behind me."

Padgett's Honda rider Ian Lowry maintained the form that he had shown in free practice as he secured a start alongside Hill with Michael Rutter third fastest on the MSS Bathams Kawasaki just ahead of WFR Honda's James Westmoreland with three manufacturers completing the front row.

Jon Kirkham, Samsung Honda's first round winner, was ninth fastest and will start from the third row on an afternoon when tyre gambles and tricky damp conditions meant difficult times for a number of leading riders, among them Michael Laverty, Shane Byrne and Noriyuki Haga who face tough challenges for race one as they start from the fourth row.

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More, from a press release issued by Swan Yamaha:


Reigning MCE Insurance British Superbike champion Tommy Hill will start from pole position ahead of tomorrow's second round at Thruxton.

The qualifying session took place under changing conditions as the session started wet but soon began to dry at the Hampshire circuit as Hill set the fastest lap of the weekend to claim his first pole position of the season. Noriyuki Haga had been second fastest in Q1 however a small issue in the second session curtailed his qualifying charge and he will start from the fourth row in 16th.

Hill said: "Taking pole position was a fantastic start to the weekend and to begin with I was worried about taking a gamble as the conditions kept changing. I think there was more pressure on me here after the crash I had at Brands Hatch as I definitely didn't want to get caught out by the wet patches and have another bad grid position. It was a big shock the pace we could run in those conditions but my biggest problem was I completely forgot my ear plugs and now I will be hearing the Swan Yamaha all night! I just pushed on though and now it's about us fighting back and getting those points tomorrow."

Haga said: "This morning we were working on the wet setting but we didn't want to change too much as it looks like it should be dry tomorrow. In the dry I had a good feeling and even in the wet we only made some small adjustments with the suspension. I am still learning the track all the time and this morning I was disappointed that we didn't have some more dry time because I am getting faster on some of the harder sections. I had followed some of the other riders earlier in the day and I think with the dry weather tomorrow we should be in a good position as the Swan Yamaha is ready to race. We were fast but we had a small problem in Q2 which meant we couldn't get through to Q3 which was a shame but I am ready for tomorrow, we just need a good start and see what we can do in the race."

Team owner Shaun Muir concluded: "The changing conditions were always going to play a part today but Tommy's timing worked brilliantly. He was patient and waited for the opportune moment and he is back where we expect to see him at the front. For Noriyuki he was in a good position but unfortunately a small fuelling issue put him out after Q2 but we know he could have been up there too. We know that both riders are feeling comfortable and we are looking for strong results tomorrow."

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