Tommy Hill is determined to keep racking up the points as the MCE British Superbike Championship resumes after more than a month with a return to the Mallory Park circuit where he made his Worx Crescent Suzuki debut a year ago.
Having lost his ride in the World Superbike Championship, Hill embarked on a return to BSB with Suzuki at Mallory Park as the latest substitute for the injured Sylvain Guintoli.
He proceeded to cause a stir by getting immediately on the pace, qualifying second on the grid and challenging for race victory prior to being involved in the now infamous six-bike pile-up.
Although it would only turn out to be a two-race stint, with Hill going on to see out the season with Hydrex Honda instead, Hill's full-time return to the manufacturer for 2010 has seen him finish off the podium just once.
Coming to the end of a five-week break in which Hill and Suzuki tested at Mallory Park, the 25-year-old insists he is not putting any pressure on himself.
“We tested at Mallory Park two weeks back,” he said. “We have a really strong base set-up but we wanted to try some very different settings just to see if there isn't anything else to come – the kind of work you really can't do in a race weekend. We've tried different geometries, different links to the rear suspension and different suspension settings themselves.
We were looking to see if we could get more side grip for cornering and improve the bike's 'flickability'. Make a more aggressive bike that will be stronger in passing situations. We're happy with what we developed.
“For me, five weeks between rounds has felt too long. I know some of the guys have filled in with rides at the TT and riding the Superstock event at the MotoGP at Silverstone. But the break has given us the time to work through stuff we could never do during racing. At this stage in the championship we're there to be caught.
“I've been speaking to other riders who have been in this situation in their championships, so I'm mindful of not putting too much pressure on myself. In fact I feel very strong and for me I'm there to get the wins and the podium points.”
Four rounds in, Hill leads the standings by 36 points from Josh Brookes, although this is prior too the impending 'neutralising' rule that comes into effect for the final three events.