Swan Yamaha riders Tommy Hill and Michael Laverty are confident of challenging for pole position at Silverstone this afternoon after a strong performance in Friday practice. Hill led for much of the second session before being pipped by championship leader John Hopkins in the closing stages while Laverty finished a competitive third.
With Hopkins having raced at the Northamptonshire circuit already this year in World Superbikes, Hill wasn't surprised to see him at the top but is confident he will be able to close the 0.559s gap in qualifying.
“It has been a good day for us and the way we needed to start the weekend really. The Swan Yamaha already feels good out on circuit and we knew that John (Hopkins) would be quick as they had been here already this year; although I am surprised that he wasn't a bit faster. We know if we put a soft tyre in then we can go quicker, but we didn't need to today. If you look at the times we were consistent on race tyres and that is going to be important on Sunday. We have had a positive start as we haven't been here yet this year and the team haven't run the Yamaha here before so it was a good start. We do have a bit of a gap over the other riders at the moment, so with a few things we can try for tomorrow we can move forward again and prepare to challenge for pole in qualifying.”
Laverty also felt there was more speed in the YZF-R1 but his final run was hampered by traffic, finishing 0.744s adrift.
“It has been a reasonable start to the weekend and overall a good day for myself and Swan Yamaha. I was a bit disappointed though at the end of the second session as I knew we had a bit more and I just got caught up in traffic which prevented me from going faster. We used the same tyre and our overall race pace is looking good, plus we have found a few tweaks we need to make here and there, but we are not that far off and I am feeling confident we can have a strong qualifying session tomorrow.”