Archive for the ‘BSB 2012’ Category
The Swan Yamaha team are celebrating tonight after Tommy Hill secured a maiden MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship title with a sensational performance in the final race of the year to beat title rival John Hopkins to the line by just 0.006 seconds. The second place meant that Hill was crowned champion with a two point advantage at the end of the season.
Hill had missed out on a podium in the second race with a fourth place and just two points separated him from title rival Hopkins ahead of the last race of the year. In the final race the pair swapped places five times on the final lap, which would decide the outcome of the title. Hill narrowly crossed the line ahead to secure second and with it a maiden championship title for the team.
Michael Laverty was caught out by the drying conditions in the second race but in the season finale he was embroiled in the fight for the final podium positions before ending the race in fifth place. Laverty ended the season fourth in the standings for the Swan Yamaha team.
Hill said: “I am gobsmacked to have won the title for Swan Yamaha; this has been my goal and I was trying to stay as relaxed as possible in that final race. The season has put a lot of pressure on everyone and that reflects on everyone. We have been regularly finishing in the top three and that has therefore been the benchmark and the whole of the Swan Yamaha team have been working so hard all year to make this possible. It has just been a complete shock for me and I feel like we should be having another race next weekend now! It wasn’t until the other riders started congratulating me that I even realised I had won as it was so close between myself and Hopper.
“It has been a long hard season and it came down to that one race. Everyone wanted a Showdown and that is what we have given them; it really was make or break time and I knew I had to do everything possible to beat Hopper. I knew Michael (Laverty) was behind me, but then when I knew it was Josh (Brookes) I had to just go for it. Coming across the line we didn’t know who had finished second and with it the title. At the moment I feel like I need someone to punch me or something to bring me back to reality. I just want to go out and race again now! I just want to celebrate now with my family, friends and the whole of the Swan Yamaha team and I need to thank everyone for their support this season.”
Laverty said: “Today has been a great result for the Swan Yamaha team and congratulations have to go to Tommy for winning the title. I rode my hardest to try and protect him and the rest of the hard work he did himself. There is a lot of satisfaction for the team tonight but at the same time I am disappointed that we were not able to come away as the champion. We have been fast all season long and we showed again yesterday with the win that we have the pace. It has been a great year and I need to thank the Swan Yamaha team for all their support.”
Team Owner Shaun Muir concluded: “We delivered everything we set out to achieve at the start of the season although we have made life difficult along the way! It didn’t start the best for Tommy this weekend but he couldn’t have done more in that race. Big thanks also have to go to Michael for his support in the final race as he did a great job of acting as Tommy’s wingman. We want to take this opportunity to thank all of our sponsors, partners and supporters who have made this possible.”
The Swan Yamaha team celebrated victory in the final MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship race of the weekend on the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit today (Sunday) as Tommy Hill took his fifth win of the season to consolidate his position in the end of season Showdown.
In the second race of the weekend Hill had been embroiled in an intense battle with title rival Shane Byrne but was forced to settle for second, but in race three he came back fighting at his home circuit to lead the race from the start and maintain his position. Michael Laverty showed impressive pace in the second race to carve his way through the field from a fifth row start to secure fourth, which he followed up in the final race with another fourth after challenging for third place in the closing stages.
Hill said: “It’s been a great day and I am happy that we could be back on the podium in both races for Swan Yamaha. In the second race I tried to make a move on Shakey going in to Paddock Hill Bend but it was a bit brave and it just didn’t work out, but I knew I needed to try and make a lunge. Hopper was closing us down and I knew we needed as main Podium Credits as possible. We knew we would be in the ball park for the third race so we just made a few tweaks and then was ready for the last race.
“The third race was probably the best ride of my season so far. I knew I needed to get off the line and Hopper and Shakey kept the pressure on me; I just had to bite the screen and keep pushing to try and get a bit of an advantage. The three of us (who finished on the podium) keep raising the bar and we just need to keep doing that at every round. We are in the top six now for the Showdown and we can concentrate on the podium credits at Cadwell Park and then fighting for the wins over the final three rounds. I need to thank the Swan Yamaha team, it was a shame about yesterday’s first race result but now we are looking forward to Cadwell Park.”
Laverty said: “It has been a frustrating day for me really and the results don’t really reflect the pace that we have had this weekend. In race two I had to start from the fifth row of the grid and it was hard work to come through the field and by the time I did, the leading three had an advantage. In the races I was able to run a string of consistent fast laps and knew we had the pace to win, but thought we could try in race three starting from the front row. I was behind Shakey and he was strong on the brakes and on the exit of the corner but where the Swan Yamaha was faster was mid corner and I just couldn’t get passed him. I wasn’t prepared for us both to end up in the gravel trap with a bit of an over ambitious move because fourth place kept us inside the top six. We know we have the pace to win so now we have to focus on Cadwell Park and trying to maintain that top six place and score some Podium Credits for our championship.”
Swan Yamaha endured a challenging opening race at Brands Hatch today (Saturday) at the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
In qualifying the team had an impressive start with Tommy Hill claiming pole at his home round with Michael Laverty starting third on the grid. However in the race the changing conditions meant the team had to make a decision on tyre choice and as the track dried both riders struggled with the wrong option. Hill however was able to pit and return to the track on slicks to set a fastest lap to put him on pole position for tomorrow’s second race with Laverty forced to start from row five in race two.
Hill said: “I am gutted really with today; we had a fantastic qualifying session and started from pole, but again in changing conditions we took a gamble and it was unfortunately the wrong one and we just went down the order. We came in and changed tyres so we could salvage a good grid position for the second race tomorrow and that paid off as we start from pole. It could have been a lot worse as Shakey and Hopper didn’t finish on the podium so the credits remain the same but we are definitely looking to get the Swan Yamaha back on the podium tomorrow.”
The Swan Yamaha team topped the timesheet in the official test session today (Friday) on the Brands Hatch Indy circuit ahead of the eighth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship which takes place on the Grand Prix configuration this weekend.
Tommy Hill set the fastest lap in the one 30 minute session of the day ahead of tomorrow’s qualifying session and opening race of the weekend at the Kent circuit as he targets his fifth win of the season. Michael Laverty also ended the session with a positive outlook to tomorrow’s first race after ending the test fourth fastest as he bids for a podium return.
Hill said: “It’s a great start to the weekend to have been fastest in the official test but tomorrow it is going to be all change and that is where the real fight starts. We have used the session today to ensure that everything is running right and I am feeling pretty good and ready for qualifying and the first race. Tomorrow with practice, qualifying and races it is going to be a big day for everyone and there is no doubting that it is going to be close out there but we are going to be aiming for those important Podium Credits in the first race.”
Laverty said: “We started the session with the settings we had at Oulton Park to see how it would react to the Indy circuit as a good section is obviously going to be important for tomorrow. I know the whole of the Swan Yamaha team are looking forward to tomorrow; it’s going to be tough for sure with practice, qualifying and races all on one day but it is sure to be interesting for the fans! It will probably be the most demanding day of the season so far, but we are ready for the challenge. It won’t be easy but tomorrow I want to be back on the podium for the Swan Yamaha team.”
The Swan Yamaha team prepare to carry their race-winning momentum to Brands Hatch this weekend (5-7 August) as the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship returns to the Grand Prix circuit for a triple-header race weekend.
Tommy Hill won the single race at the previous Oulton Park round and heading to his home circuit he is determined to maintain his winning form in a bid to secure as main podium credits as possible with only six races remaining before the Showdown. Michael Laverty is also seeking a return to the podium in the three races this weekend as he looks to consolidate his position inside the top six in the overall standings ahead of the Showdown.
Hill said: “It’s great to be heading back to Brands Hatch again and as it’s my local circuit I always get great support there. I think we are all raring to go now after having the second race at Oulton Park postponed due to the weather so we want to get back out even more! It is getting close to the Showdown now but with three races we can’t settle for points, we need the wins and podiums to remain in the top six and wrack up those podium credits as they are so important. We need to push hard and we need three good races; we won on the Indy circuit earlier in the year so I won’t be aiming for anything less for Swan Yamaha.”
Laverty said: “I am really looking forward to getting back out on the Swan Yamaha at Brands Hatch. As it will be the track the title decider will take place on we really need to get the best set up we possibly can as it will be so important when we return at the end of the season. We need to remain inside the top six and in the next six races we really need to score some more of those podium credits. We may still be a few races away from the Showdown but that is what everyone is focused on and then working towards the season finale.
The Swan Yamaha team were back on the top step of the podium at the fourth round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship at Thruxton as Michael Laverty secured his first victory of the season in the opening race.
Laverty scored an impressive win in tricky wet conditions as he worked his way through the pack to take the lead on the eighth lap before controlling from the front to take the victory. Tommy Hill had a challenging first race as the team opted for the intermediate tyre and he was later forced to pit and switch to wet tyres. In the second race Laverty struggled with visibility and Hill was able to have a strong performance to finish fourth after a last lap move.
Hill said: “In the first race we simply made a wrong choice of tyre and it is always difficult in those conditions to make the decision. We then had to come in during the race and fire in a wet tyre to get a lap time to give us a better position on the grid for the second race. It was gutting as we had been up there throughout free practice and qualifying and I knew we need to push forward and get the points and the podium credits in race two. In race two I was just chipping away and just missed out on the podium but it was good to be moving back up the order. We have gone from seventh to fourth in the championship so are inside that important top six now and we want to be winning again soon for Swan Yamaha.”
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.
Hill said: “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.”
The Swan Yamaha team had a challenging raceday at Oulton Park today at the second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship. Tommy Hill who had yesterday powered to the pole position was sidelined after morning warm up following a heavy crash whilst Michael Laverty secured two fifth places.
Hill had led the championship after the opening round, but was forced to watch from the sidelines after he sustained a shoulder injury when he fell between Brittens and Hilltop following Loris Baz’s crash moments before. Hill is now recovering from a torn tendon on the back of his shoulder and is going to visit a specialist for further assessment in the hope of a return at the next round of the championship in ten days’ time at Croft. Laverty meanwhile proved the pace of the Swan Yamaha, running at the front of the field until arm pump halted his progress in the first race. In the second race Laverty looked set to score his first win of the season until a mistake at Hizzy’s chicane on the final lap whilst running second put him on the grass and when he rejoined he was fifth.
Hill said: “Today has been one of those days which just show the ups and downs of racing. We were feeling really confident and I was really happy, we had set pole position and looked in a strong position for the races. Then it all just went wrong. I was coming out of Shell and I knew I was up on the sector times, but as I came into Brittens I saw a yellow flag out the corner of my eye and rolled off a bit. I didn’t see anyone down, but there was just fluid on the track and I just it caught it with the rear tyre and it threw me off. It is a big downer for me and the team but I just have to go home and get mended as soon as I can. These injuries I have been told can take five to six weeks to heal, but I will see a specialist tomorrow and then we can go from there. Of course I want to be back for Croft, but I won’t have more of an idea until I see the specialist. The points system though could play into my hands, as I can drop today’s results before the Showdown. I need to make sure that when I come back I am at full fitness so I can do the best job I can in getting the championship back on track for Swan Yamaha.”
The Swan Yamaha team got their season off to a flying start at Brands Hatch for the opening round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship as Tommy Hill took a first and second place to lead the standings ahead of Oulton Park.
The opening race of the day ended in dramatic fashion for Michael Laverty as he suffered a highside whilst leading the race at Clark Curve, which caused Hill to take evasive action and drop down the order to eleventh. Hill then fought back and a determined performance saw him finish second.
In the second race of the day Hill took a sensational victory at his home round after holding off the challenges of race one winner Shane Byrne and defending champion Ryuichi Kiyonari. Laverty meanwhile recovered from his race one crash to finish in a solid fourth place.
Hill: “It has been a long four days as it has been the most I have ridden for a while! Last week I was concerned about my elbow and I had a lot of treatment throughout the week to be ready which has paid off. It is fantastic to be leading the championship but it is only round one and it is early days still. The bike has been working well and we couldn’t have asked for a better start today. We are now looking forward to Oulton Park and getting the bike to work around what is a completely different track. Hopefully we can get there and come away with a very similar result.”