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Hill completes Swan whitewash, Kiyo safe

29 August 2011

Tommy Hill made it three wins from three races for Swan Yamaha at Cadwell Park, while Ryuichi Kiyonari secured the final spot in the British Superbike title showdown with a quiet run to seventh.

A pulsating final encounter of the weekend, Swan Yamaha went into the race looking to make it a trio of 1-2 finishes, with Michael Laverty getting a good start from pole position to hold down the lead initially from Shane Byrne, Josh Brookes and Hill.

Byrne would signal his intentions with a solid pass midway around the first lap to head up Laverty, but the HM Plant Honda rider's quest to break Swan Yamaha's stranglehold on the event were scuppered on lap two when he ran on at the chicane, demoting himself to fourth.

As such, Laverty moved back into the lead, with Hill now trailing him having dispatched of Brookes for second position.

Heading a procession of six riders – with Peter Hickman and Jon Kirkham tagged onto the back of the leading group -, Laverty was doing well to resist the persistent pressure from Hill. Indeed, Hill even found his way past on two occasions at the end of Hall Bends, only for Laverty to coolly re-pass straight away.

Hill eventually made the same move stick on lap nine, a decisive pass that would see him begin to stretch the lead group. A fastest lap on the penultimate revolution would confirm the inevitable, Hill completing his third win in four races.

The result also means he will start the 2011 title showdown with 29 podium credits, compared to Byrne's 22, John Hopkins's – who was absent this weekend through injury – 18 and Laverty's 10.

Behind Hill, Laverty came close to making it a 1-2 finish, only for Brookes to get the better of him on the penultimate lap and split them at the chequered flag, the Relentless Suzuki rider producing a strong end to a controversial weekend.

Byrne's error would leave him a disgruntled fourth at the chequered flag, ahead of Hickman – notching up his second top five finish of the day – and Kirkham.

Most crucially, however, was the man in seventh, with Kiyonari doing what he needed to do secure his place in the title shootout despite another fairly difficult weekend for the reigning champion. His cause was certainly aided by the exit of Michael Rutter, who didn't start the final race of the weekend.

Behind him, Martin Jessopp scored good points in eighth place, ahead of top EVO rider Graeme Gowland, while James Ellison completed the top ten.

On his first outing for Motorpoint Yamaha, Tommy Bridewell scored points in 11th, ahead of Gary Mason, Scott Smart, Glen Richards and Karl Harris.

Elsewhere, there was further disappointment for MSS Colchester Kawasaki rider Alex Lowes, who suffered another costly accident having gotten himself into fifth position early on.


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