Swan Yamaha experienced contrasting fortunes for their two riders in qualifying for the BSB opener at Brands Hatch with one rider at the front of the grid and the other at the back. Tommy Hill crashed at Graham Hill bend during Q1 and could only qualify 29th, leaving him with work to do in race one but the defending champion is up for the fight.
“It was unfortunate for me to have had a qualifying session like that; it was hit and miss with the weather and I felt confident that we could secure a good position. I was on a lap and came up on a slower rider and I went down the inside but as I went off line I hit a wet patch and I just went down. I tried to pick the Swan Yamaha up, but unfortunately there was too much damage to get it back and out on track again. I am a bit gutted but tomorrow is another day; I just need to try and come through the pack at the start but it is ok, I will have my binoculars with me!”
Teammate Noriyuki Haga avoided the same problems and will start his debut British Superbike race from sixth. The Japanese rider will be the sole victory hope in race one for Swan Yamaha but is not setting any specific targets.
“I am quite happy with qualifying; I had experience of a qualifying system like this one in WSB. For sure they were difficult conditions as between the three sessions it kept changing. In the first session I was on a slick tyre so was very careful as there was a dry line and I didn't want to move off it. The next stage it started raining and I was testing the tyre and then at the end I did a good lap time so I could go to the final stage. The last session was most difficult I think; as I was exiting some parts were wet, some were dry and there would be no time to change the tyres if we chose the wrong one. I am happy as I am starting from a good position which is very important here on this track.”
“Today I also had a look at some places I can look at passes tomorrow and now I just need to make sure I get a good start. I want an exciting race, like I have seen before in BSB, so I am excited for tomorrow and hopefully we can get good results for the Swan Yamaha team.”