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Hill ‘gutted’ to miss out on Donington wins
12 September 2011
Tommy Hill was at a loss to explain why he couldn't translate his record-breaking qualifying pace into a victory at Donington Park as he was forced to settle for a pair of podiums.
The Swan Yamaha rider looked to be the man to beat heading into race day having dominated both practice and qualifying, but appeared to have no noticeable advantage over his key rivals come the races.
Indeed, a poor start in race one saw him in fourth initially, but while he pushed his way back up to second, a misguided attempt at passing for the lead on lap twelve would scupper his chances of claiming the win, Hill settling for third.
Avoiding the clash that delayed Shane Byrne and Michael Laverty in race two, Hill – now with a new engine in his Yamaha YZF-R1 - attempted to make amends by snatching the lead early on, only for John Hopkins to take the position on lap five and extend his advantage to the chequered flag.
Slipping three points behind double winner Hopkins in the standings, Hill was disappointed at failing to win either race, but was satisfied to maintain a good points' haul nonetheless.
"I was gutted with the first race result despite finishing on the podium as we just didn't have the speed. The Swan Yamaha team changed the engine between races to see exactly what the problem was and how we could fix it for race two.
“We got into a rhythm over the opening laps and then the pace dropped off and I knew the guys behind us were closing in. I knew we had to do something so I made a lunge from about six bike lengths back and I didn't quite make it.
“In the second race I saw Michael make a brave move when he dived for the apex. I just let them carry on as I knew what would happen. I settled down into a rhythm and John Hopkins came passed me and there wasn't much I could do. It hasn't been the worst weekend for me with two podiums but we needed wins and we need to change that at Silverstone."
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