Reigning MCE British Superbike champion Tommy Hill is poised to announce his plans for the 2012 season.
Hill emerged as a dramatic winner of the championship this year for Shaun Muir's Swan Yamaha team, hoisting aloft the coveted trophy following a thrilling championship finale at Brands Hatch in October.
In an incredible final race, the 26-year-old narrowly squeezed out key title rival John Hopkins to take the chequered flag by 0.006secs as he seized the BSB crown in sensational style.
Hill's 2011 team-mate Michael Laverty has left Muir's outfit and joined the HM Plant Honda squad for next year, but Hill could remain on the Yamaha YZF-R1 to defend his title.
He was keeping his cards close to his chest during an official BSB web chat yesterday, but perhaps dropped a slight hint over his plans for 2012 when he described his title-winning Yamaha as the best bike he has ever ridden.
In response to a question posed by a fan, Hill said: “Yamaha YZF-R1 – they're the best bikes in the world! All bikes are different and some work in different areas, but my bike this year [was the best].”
And Hill revealed that he has completed a deal for the new campaign, confirming that his plans would be made official on Wednesday.
“Sorry it's been a long time coming – all finalised,” Hill said.
Irish rider Laverty will oppose Hill next season in a rival team and the reigning champion paid tribute to his old team-mate, who finished fourth overall in the points standings this year.
“Michael is a very good rider and we worked well as team-mates, even though we were very competitive.”
Hill, who described the title-deciding race at Brands as the “best of my life,” said he was looking forward to competing at Assen next season, which has been added to the BSB calendar for the first time.
For now, he is continuing to train hard during the off-season but like most mortals will take a well-deserved break on Christmas day.
“Training on Christmas day? No – I'll be bicep-curling around the mince pies and Guinness all day! I slow down on the off-season – in January I'll be back on the case.”