Runaway 2010 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship pace-setter Tommy Hill has acknowledged that with the all-new end-of-season Showdown the indisputable Holy Grail this year, consistency will be pivotal to the destiny of the laurels – but that said, he confesses he would still love to win at Cadwell Park this weekend.
To-date, Hill has triumphed twice in the first six races of 2010 – once in the Brands Hatch curtain-raiser, and then again at Thruxton – but it is his unbroken run of podium finishes that has secured the Worx Crescent Suzuki star a commanding 51-point advantage in the standings arriving in Lincolnshire, with three runner-up spots and a third place last time out at Oulton Park.
By comparison, none of his rivals has ascended the rostrum more than twice, and at Cadwell – a circuit he and almost certainly every other rider in the field palpably enjoys – Hill admits his primary goal is to keep that peerless form going, and if he can top it off with the cherry on top of a race victory or two, all the better.
“So far so good,” he succinctly summed up of his season thus far, speaking exclusively to Crash.net Radio
. “We're just racking up the points and trying to be consistent. With the new points system this year, it does get a little bit complicated when you start going into it and start talking about digits and numbers and who can do this and who could do that and what if this happens or what if that happens, but we're just trying to go into every race and come out with some consistent points and most of all get podium points, which we will then take with us into the Showdown for the last three rounds.
“Looking at the points, it's fantastic to have a 51-point lead – what more could I want? I'm over-the-moon with that, but I still look at it and don't pay too much attention to it, because it is irrelevant – that's fact. I need to keep my head down and keep in that top six for the last few rounds. The points that are relevant are the podium points that we take into the Showdown.
“We worked hard over the winter. We've got a new electronics system on the bike this year, and there's still a lot of room for development and progression with that – we're just trying to get the best out of it that we can. Obviously we've moved to Ohlins suspension this year too, and we're just trying to get everything working right. The bike has been working well and the team rely on me to give information back to them as much possible so they can develop it and look at the data and telemetry and find where the problems are so we can move forward.
“Cadwell Park is a fantastic circuit! It's a typical British track – tight, twisty, thin and with not a lot of run-off – and it produces good racing. That does make it a little bit hard to overtake, though; I experienced that at Oulton Park, where I was sitting in second for the whole race. I wanted to make a move and I felt like I could make a move on Stuart Easton; I felt so comfortable, I wasn't riding to my limits and I just felt really, really happy, but to make a move where we're both braking pretty much on the limit into every corner is hard. British circuits are hard to overtake at, but we'll just keep our heads down and try to get the results.
“[The objective is] more consistency still, but I do love Cadwell – it's physical, it's aggressive and there's a bit of everything going on around the track – and of course I want to push for a win. I want to be winning races, as every rider does. We go out there every time to win races as a team, but we still need to be in that top six – and that's really all that matters at the moment. It's nice to get the podium points that we can take with us to the Showdown, and those one or two points that you get in the first part of the season could win you a championship in the end, so that's the plan.”
It is a plan that at the moment is well on-course to succeed, but in order to lift the 2010 BSB crown, Hill is under no illusions as to the strength of the opposition, and well aware that he will have to get the better of some fiercely-competitive rivals along the way – including the presently injured James Ellison, who he warns to write off only at your peril.