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Hill edges out Haga for Oulton win
6 May 2012
Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill emerged victorious following an eight-lap sprint in the MCE British Superbike race at Oulton Park, taking the honours from team-mate Noriyuki Haga on a magnificent day for Shaun Muir's team.
The race was initially red-flagged following a crash involving Samsung Honda's Jon Kirkham, who came off at Clay Hill after appearing to lose the front end of his CBR1000RR Fireblade.
Kirkham was treated in the medical centre for concussion.
Hill headed a Swan Yamaha one-two, with Aussie Brookes filling the final rostrum position ahead of team-mate Alastair Seeley, who earlier crashed at Cascades during qualifying.
Tommy Bridewell continued to impress on the Supersonic BMW as he took fifth place on the S1000RR with Samsung Honda's Michael Laverty rounding out the top six.
Japanese star Haga led the re-started race on his YZF-R1 until after the half-way point. The World Superbike hero passed Tyco Suzuki's Josh Brookes in the opening stages to hit the front.
However, reigning champion Hill was always poised to strike behind his team-mate after moving through to challenge the leader in today's race, which was rescheduled from the opening round of the championship at Brands Hatch last month due to poor weather and deteriorating surface conditions.
Hill, who was lying in fourth place at the end of lap one, picked off Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki's Shane 'Shakey' Byrne and Brookes before shadowing Haga.
Once he made his move at Island he put the hammer down to open a one-second lead by the end of the penultimate lap.
Hill was the only rider to achieve a sub-1m 36s lap as he blasted around the Cheshire course in a time of 1m 35.842s on his final lap to cross the line with a 1.5s advantage over the ever-improving Haga, who claimed his maiden BSB podium.
Brookes was 2.6 seconds clear of current British Supersport champion Seeley on the second Tyco Suzuki, who put his disappointing results at Thruxton behind him with an strong ride to fourth.
Laverty will be pleased with his performance after clawing his way through the pack from almost last place on the grid to finish behind Bridewell, with veteran Chris Walker, Michael Rutter, Stuart Easton and James Westmoreland the top ten.
Padgetts Honda rider Ian Lowry was forced out of the race with bike trouble.
Hill starts from pole position in tomorrow's races after lapping half a second faster than Byrne and Brookes.
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