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Hill jumps ahead with Oulton triple

8 July 2012

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Tommy Hill has multiplied his advantage in the MCE British Superbike Championship standings after completing a superb hat-trick of victories at Oulton Park.

Having dominated his way to victory in races one and two, Hill came into the third race odds-on to become the third triple winner in BSB history (after Leon Camier in 2009 and Ryuichi Kiyonari in 2010) and quickly stamped his mark by grabbing the lead from pole sitter Josh Brookes into the opening bend.

With his rivals determined not to let Hill get away again, Brookes attempted to make a race of it by slicing through into the lead at the end of lap two, the first time this weekend that a rider other than Hill had been out front.

However, it was a fleeting moment as Hill swiftly re-passed at the very next bend to restore order before Brookes ended his victory hopes with a high-side moment at Brittens on lap four, the Australian almost launched off the bucking Tyco Suzuki.

Though he was fortunate to keep the bike pointing in the right direction, Brookes dropped from second to sixth, promoting Michael Laverty, Noriyuki Haga, Shane Byrne and Alex Lowes ahead of him.

Having just missed out on a podium finish in race two, Haga set about looking to make amends as he slipped up the inside of Laverty into the Hislop chicane on lap six, the Japanese rider promptly followed through by Shane Byrne.

With Laverty dropping back behind a recovering Brookes and Hill beginning to extend his advantage out front, the battle for second place would come down to a three-way battle between Haga, Byrne and Brookes.

Byrne struck at Brittens on lap 12 to move into second, but would proceed to be pressured by Haga for the remaining six laps as the former World Superbike star looked on course for only his second podium of the season.

However, just as he was looking to launch a late strike on Byrne, he would find himself being hunted down by Brookes, who saved his best for last by diving up the inside into Lodge and grabbing third place on the very final corner.

A potentially crucial podium credit for him, his weekend tally of 5 means he was at least able to keep Hill honest, the reigning champion doing what he needed to notch up a perfect 3 wins, 75 points and 9 podium credits further up the road.

Byrne's second place means he is just one point behind Brookes in the overall standings, though both are 28 and 29 points off Hill now.

Despite missing out on the podium, Haga's good points' haul has lifted him to the crucial sixth place in the overall standings ahead of Ian Lowry and just two points behind fifth place man Tommy Bridewell.

Laverty completed the top five after fighting his way past Lowes late on, while Lowry pulled back some points on Bridewell with a final lap pass for seventh.

James Westmoreland and Graeme Gowland made it three WFR Hondas inside the top ten, while Chris Walker, Peter Hickman, Alastair Seeley, Jon Kirkham and Scott Smart picked up the remaining points.


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