Tommy Hill shrugged off an injury concern to take the early lead in the 2011 British Superbike Championship with victory in race two at Brands Hatch for Swan Yamaha.
An accident involving teammate Michael Laverty cost him time in race one before the Lingfield rider recovered to second behind Shane Byrne. There were no such problems in race two though as Hill resisted the challenge of race one winner Shane Byrne and Ryuichi Kiyonari to take his sixth BSB victory.
Hill admitted afterwards that he had been receiving heavy treatment on an elbow injury, making his victory all the more impressive.
“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.”
The accident in race one had put Laverty on the back foot. The Northern Irishman was leading the race until he suffered a highside at the Clark curve.
Despite being in obvious pain, Laverty produced a strong ride in the second race to claim fourth, and praised the team for repairing his YZF-R1 in time.
“Today has been a bit of a tough one for me. I am feeling a little bit sore, but I was able to walk away from a really big crash in the first race and that is the main thing but the team worked hard to get the bike back together for the second race. It was a shame to crash out as I felt quite good and I was feeling confident for the win. It was a big crash; the tyre just spun and I didn’t have time to save it. I did get clipped by Tommy but I was so lucky that both him and Shakey were able to miss me.”
“In the second race I felt ok and set the fastest lap but then there were a few places where the front was folding and I didn't want to crash again. We have a few days now before Oulton Park and I want to come out there and get back on the podium.”
Team Owner Shaun Muir added that the teams' display around the Indy circuit was no fluke, and expects to be consistently challenging for victories this year.
“We had a long winter and the hard work has paid off and we are delighted to be leading the championship after Tommy's performance today. Michael was unlucky in the first race but he showed his potential despite that to challenge for the podium in race two. We are now really looking forward to next weekend at Oulton Park and hopefully we can be back on the top step of the podium again.”
Photo credit: Tom Hughes – www.HughesVisuals.co.uk