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Aug 29, 2010

Hill Wins British Superbike Superpole At Cadwell Park

Round nine Cadwell Park 29/30 August

Tommy Hill starts the Bank Holiday Monday ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park from pole position having headed off the fierce challenges of his title rivals Josh Brookes and Ryuichi Kiyonari.

Currently second in the standings, seven points down on Kiyonari, Hill is keen to forge clear and be in a strong position as the series heads into the "Showdown" phase after these races at the Lincolnshire circuit.

Hill powered his Worx Crescent Suzuki to a fourth pole start of the campaign, and his first since the fourth round at Cadwell Park, with a scorching lap in 1m 27.343 secs, an average speed of 89.85mph, and on a day of changeable conditions, he had also been fastest in the rain-lashed free practice session.

"The speed in the wet was particularly pleasing as we've had one or two issues in those conditions, but we've worked at them and got them right for here. We've done a good job so far, but now we have to work on from pole to take the races," said Hill.

"It would be nice to get a couple of race wins here, get on top of the points to be a good position going into the Showdown section of the series," added Hill who is aiming to taste the race winner's champagne for the first time since his second round success at Thurxton back in April.

"I have to set that record straight I'm here to win, not just rack up points. I know that podium credits are important in the final outcome, but, I want maximum scores here," Hill continued.

Brookes, a winner last time out at Cadwell Park closed within a third of a second of Hill, but was disappointed at having to settle for second best as he explained: "I thought I would be able to go for the pole position but I kept making mistakes which cost me the time so now I am feeling a bit shut down.

"There is no question that I want to win these races, that is my motivation and even in qualifying I want to be first so I need to get out there and try and go one better," added Brookes, currently third in the standings, three points down on Hill.

Kiyonari, bidding to take the British crown for a third time, and like his HM Plant team-mate Brookes a winner at the circuit back in May was only marginally slower, 1m 27.836secs, to be third fastest in the grid deciding Swan Combi Roll for Pole.

The leading trio in the standings filled the three rider front row with Michael Rutter on the Ducati; Simon Andrews aboard the MSS Colchester Kawasaki and Relentless Suzuki's Michael Laverty lining up on the second row.

These races define the six riders who will go forward into the "Showdown for the Title" over the final seven races of the season already Kiyonari, Hill, Brookes, Rutter and Michael Laverty are qualified as "title-fighters" with Alastair Seeley, a third row starter on his Relentless Suzuki looking the most likely of the three riders vying for the one remaining position to progress.

His rivals, Swan Honda rider Stuart Easton, starting from the fifth row, and John Laverty on the Buildbase Kawasaki, a further row back, face an uphill struggle while in the BSB-EVO class Liverpudlian Steve Brogan looks set to take the lead in the scrap for that title, having set the best time, 1m 30.239secs aboard his Jentin BMW.

For the record:

Top ten qualifying times
Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 1m:27.343s
Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +0.352s
Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.493s
Michael Rutter ( Ducati) +0.660s
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.766s
Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.767s
James Ellison (Swan Honda) +1.079s
Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +1.550s
Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki) + 1.575s
Tommy Bridewell (Quay Garage Tyco Honda) + 1.701s

More, from a press release issued by Swan Honda:


The Swan Honda team are preparing to up the ante at tomorrow's ninth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship after this afternoon's Swan Combi Roll for Pole qualifying session at Cadwell Park which decided the grid for the opening race of the weekend.

James Ellison continued his improvements to qualify inside the top ten for the final Q3 shootout to secure seventh place on the grid, which at CadwellPark equates to a third row start. Stuart Easton meanwhile just missed out on the top ten and will start from thirteenth on the grid for tomorrow's opening race.

Ellison said: "It has been a reasonable day for us; we have tons of ideas to try in morning warm up tomorrow as we still have some work to do on the steering and the front end of the Swan Honda. I am not that disappointed with a third row, as seventh will be on the outside of the grid and should give me a good chance into the next few corners on the first lap. I just need to focus on getting a good start and then there is no reason why we can't be up there as we are confident that the changes will make us stronger."

Easton said: "There are obviously some changes we need to make in the morning as 13th is not where we want to be in the races, but we know what we need to do. We are going to focus on corner speed and steering in warm up as I feel that if we can find that bit extra there then we can move further up the order as everyone is so close. If we can have a good first race then that will also move us up the grid for race two and of course I will be doing the best I can to get the results for Swan Honda."

More, from a press release issued by GNS Racing:

GNS Racing rider Sam Lowes left it late in the session but with a fantastic last lap, claimed pole position for round nine of the Fuchs-Silkolene British Supersport Championship at Cadwell Park today.

The local rider from Lincoln was playing second best to the CAME Yamaha of Billy McConnell during the 30-minute session and when McConnell pitted for a fresh tyre with five minutes to go it looked as if Lowes would miss out again.

However Lowes had other ideas as having realised what McConnell was doing, he too called into the pits for new rubber leaving himself just one lap to try and claim his and the team's first pole position of the year which he did with a stunning time of 1m29.199s to start tomorrow's 16-lap race from the front of the grid.

Needless to say Lowes was delighted and is hoping to transform his qualifying performance to maximum points in the race and extend his lead at the head of the Championship.

Sam Lowes: "This is the first pole position for me in my 600 career and the first for the team as well, they have done a mega job and I'm really pleased to get it for them because they really deserve it. I want to do well at my local track and, although I know its all about the race, this just proves that we have the speed. We just need to bring it home tomorrow and the podium is what I'm aiming for and hopefully increase my championship lead. It's an amazing feeling and I really want to thank all the team and the sponsors for all their hard work."

Gary Stubbington, team owner: "I'm thoroughly pleased with the boy. It's our first pole position of the year and I'm really pleased with the style in which he did it - on the last lap! I'd just like to congratulate the whole team and everyone involved and hope Sam can continue this in the race tomorrow."

Tomorrow's 16-lap British Supersport race takes place at 15.50 and is shown live on British Eurosport.

Qualifying Result

1, Sam Lowes (GNS Racing Honda) 1m29.199s
2, Billy McConnell (Yamaha) 1m29.359s
3, Graeme Gowland (Honda) 1m29.479s
4, Ben Wilson (Kawasaki) 1m29.592s
5, Ian Hutchinson (Honda) 1m29.929s
6, Glen Richards (Honda) 1m30.048s
7, James Westmoreland (Yamaha) 1m30.151s
8, Jason O'Halloran (Yamaha) 1m30.549s
9, Jack Kennedy (Yamaha) 1m30.805s
10, Luke Mossey (Triumph) 1m30.910s
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