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Hill sprints to Knockhill victory
19 June 2011
Tommy Hill has taken his first MCE British Superbike Championship win since injuring his shoulder after an utterly dominant performance at Knockhill.
Having established himself as the man to beat after claiming pole position in the wet, Hill proved similarly imperious in the dry as held his lead into the opening bend and simply pulled away from his rivals.
Setting a fierce pace that left him just shy of a lap record that has stood for six years, Hill carved his way through the backmarkers to finishing almost nine seconds ahead of the chasing pack. A second win of the season for the Swan Yamaha man, it is evidence that he has recovered from his recent injury woes.
Second place John Hopkins held steady in the closing stages as he came under pressure from Shane Byrne, the championship leader working his way up the order having started down in ninth position. The American kept his title rival at bay, however, to notch up his sixth podium of the season.
Gary Mason ran second early on, but would succumb to Hopkins and Byrne, the MSS Colchester Kawasaki rider nonetheless strengthening his hopes of securing a shootout spot with a fine run to fourth place.
Josh Brookes finished a distant fifth aboard the Relentless Suzuki, just 0.006secs ahead of Michael Laverty, who was forced into a comeback ride after running wide at the first corner. Dropping outside the top ten, Laverty would eventually fight his way to sixth place.
Just behind, James Westmoreland posted his first BSB top ten with a feisty ride to seventh, the former British Supersport race winner running as high as fifth in the early stages. Though his pace dropped in the closing stages, the Rob Mac Racing rider held off Jon Kirkham and team-mate Loris Baz.
Another fairly low key performance by Ryuichi Kiyonari would see him finish in tenth place, just ahead of Tommy Bridewell and top EVO rider Glen Richards, the Australian rallying well inside the top ten initially before favouring caution on the way to 12th.
Peter Hickman clings onto his top six shootout spot after forging his way to 13th from 21st on the grid, while Chris Walker and Simon Andrews completed the top fifteen.
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