BSB: Hill tops timesheets at Oulton Park
By Mic Archbold
A GOOD day in the office for Tommy Hill sees him at the top of the leader board after today's free practice sessions, ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday second round of the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
Hill, riding the Swan Yamaha machine - who had taken the early lead of the championship after a second place and a victory at Brands Hatch - went out and grabbed the top spot late in session.
The fact that this Cheshire circuit was the scene of heartache last year when a crash lost him the chance of taking the title did not worry him at all.
"That is behind me." He explained, "You can't be a racer and think about things like that, it would slow you down. You have to get on with the job."
Hill has been consistent over the two sessions but is confident there is still more to come from the Swan Yamaha squad.
"That was good for me as we used the same tyre and I guess a lot of people are looking and thinking we popped in a softer tyre to go for a time.
"We had been fairly consistent across both sessions and we still have a few things to work on ahead of qualifying and these races."
His team mate Michael Laverty finished the session in second place, seven tenths of second behind Hill. He finds Oulton Park a hard track to ride but is positive ahead of Sunday's qualifying session.
"It always takes me time to comfortable at this circuit as it is hard work to ride, but every lap was getting a bit better for me. So with the changes we can make, I am feeling good," said Laverty.
Josh Brookes, after finishing the first session today in top spot improved on his time this afternoon.
However his Relentless Suzuki will have to settle for third place, 0.059 seconds ahead of fourth place sitter Loris Baz on the Motorpoint Yamaha.
Fifth and sixth were the MSS Kawasaki duo Stuart Easton and Gary Mason with Jon Kirkham's Samsung Crescent Racing Suzuki an impressive seventh.
Ryuichi Kiyonari, the Japanese contender, was a triple race winner here last year but he suffered a technical problem with his HM Plant Honda and failed to improve on his time. He finished the second session eighth ahead of his team mate Shane Byrne.
Rounding of the top ten was Peter Hickman on the Tyco Honda, whilst team mate Tommy Bridewill crashed heavily. He escaped injury but badly damaged the bike.
Qualifying for the Bank Holiday Monday Race will take place tomorrow at Oulton Park at 15:30.
Top ten from Free Practice Two:
1.Tommy Hill (Swan Yamaha) 1m:35.682s
2.Michael Laverty (Swan Yamaha) +0.700s
3.Josh Brookes (Relentless Suzuki) +0.922s
4.Loris Baz (Motorpoint Yamaha) +0.981s
5.Stuart Easton (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +1.049s
6.Gary Mason (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +1.227s
7.Jon Kirkham (Samsung Crescent Racing) +1.364
8.Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +1.468
9.Shane Byrne (HM Plant Honda) +1.493
10. Peter Hickman (Tyco Honda) +1.596