Tommy praises team for the best British Superbike Championship of his career
In what has been a tremendous season for Adaptaflex sponsored Tommy Hill in the British Superbikes Championship it was particularly gruelling having led for most of the season that a crash in race two at Oulton Park destroyed his championship chances.
While finishing third overall in the Championship will be little consolation to Tommy it still represents a fantastic achievement in what has been his best season ever on the race track and there can be no denying the popularity of this rider who just never gives up.
The first race at Oulton was extremely close with the lead constantly changing between Tommy and eventual championship winner Ryuichi Kiyonari with the pair almost inseparable throughout the 16 lap race.
It fell to Tommy to notch the fastest lap at 101.25 mph, a record that was not beaten during the meeting, but it was the Honda rider who crossed the finish line first by 0.821 of a second.
Race Two at Oulton was where fate robbed Tommy of the Championship. In the early stages of the race he was challenging James Ellison for the lead into Lodge when his machine kicked off a bump leading to a collision. Tommy was quickly back on his bike and attempting to regain positions when a damaged brake master cylinder failed giving him no alternative but to lay the bike down at speed. Oil on the track caused the race to be red flagged and unfortunately the crash and fire damage to the GSX-R1000 was too extensive and he had to sit out the race due to this season's one bike rule.
A fantastic effort by the Worx Crescent Suzuki team saw a written off machine rebuilt in time for the final race. Despite lacking the precision set-up and feel of the original machine Tommy brought the bike home in a fighting fifth, taking overall third place in the Championship.
Said Tommy Hill, “The team has put so much effort into this championship, and we wanted this championship so bad – and it's not happened. It's been an incredible year though. We started fantastic, we were fastest in testing and we started the season so well. The pressure then came on but we responded and stayed at the front – so for it to go away in one race, well, we're all incredibly disappointed. I just have to thank everyone in the Worx Crescent Suzuki team, they have been incredible this season and given me the championship of my life."
Reflecting on the weekend Team Manager Jack Valentine said: "Tommy knew he had to finish in front of Kiyo today. He was looking to do that in the first race when he had his coming together with Ellison. We then fell foul of the one bike rule and after a season of staying on top, answering every test, this one crash has cost us the championship.
"As a team we couldn't do any more. On the podium it was clear that Tommy was the people's champion."
Final British Superbike Championship Standings:
1. Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) 649
2. Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) 625
3. Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 620
4. Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 604
5. Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) 559
6. Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) 550
Finishing off his National Superstock 600 Championship in style Jimmy Hill, also sponsored by Adaptaflex, took a podium position with third place in the final race of the season riding his Map Group Triumph 600.
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