Hill edges ahead with fifth victory
7 August 2011
Tommy Hill made it three different race winners at the MCE British Superbike triple-header around Brands Hatch as he got the edge over his rivals for a fifth victory of the season.
The Swan Yamaha rider, who started each of the three races from pole position, had endured a mixed weekend thus far, failing to score in race one, before bouncing back to finish second during the next encounter.
Nonetheless, he made no mistake in race three, holding the lead through the opening bend and managing the advantage all the way to the chequered flag.
Indeed, the start decided the leading positions, with Hill, John Hopkins, Shane Byrne and Michael Laverty all holding station from the opening bend to the chequered flag.
Even so, it was Hill's relentless pace from start-to-finish that enabled him to claim a crucial win, one that puts him ahead of Byrne and Hopkins in terms of podium credits with only the Cadwell Park triple-header remaining.
Hopkins gave chase, but had to settle for second, four seconds behind Hill, while Byrne fended off both bike problems and Laverty to round off the podium.
Further back, Michael Rutter completed a very profitable weekend with a run to fifth position, an important result for the Rapid Bathams Ducati rider, who is now just five points off the top six shootout.
He could have slipped into the top six already had Ryuichi Kiyonari not staged an impressive comeback from an early mid-field position, the Japanese rider, who struggled in the first and second races, battling his way back to sixth to secure some potentially vital points.
Gary Mason came home in seventh position, ahead of Joan Lascorz, who was unable to repeat Kawasaki SRT's victory exploits of twelve months ago. Peter Hickman and Jon Kirkham completed the top ten as the maintained their slim hopes of reaching the top six shootout.
Graeme Gowland wrapped up a trio of EVO victories in 11th place overall, ahead of Broc Parkes, James Ellison, James Westmoreland and Chris Walker.
Amongst those failing to finish the third race, Josh Brookes retired with mechanical problems on the Relentless by TAS Suzuki, while Ian Lowry crashed the Buildbase BMW.