Hill cruises to Thruxton pole

Tommy Hill eases to pole position at Thruxton by a half second margin to head up a front row of Ian Lowry, Michael Rutter and James Westmoreland.
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Tommy Hill has put himself in a prime position to recover lost ground in the MCE British Superbike Championship after cruising to pole at Thruxton.

The Swan Yamaha rider arrived at the high-speed Hampshire venue keen to make amends for a dismal season opener at Brands Hatch, the 2011 champion qualifying poorly before crashing out of the only race to be held around the Kent circuit.

Nonetheless, Hill struck back in formidable fashion by cruising into the top ten shootout before pumping in an opening target of 1min 15.613secs during SP3. Going on to lower the benchmark again with a 1min 15.260secs effort, Hill's eventual half second margin ensured either lap would have been good enough to secure his 12th career BSB pole.

Lining up alongside him will be Ian Lowry, the Ulsterman maintaining his impressive free practice pace by claiming a career-best starting position aboard the Padgetts Honda, while MSS Bathams' Michael Rutter led the Kawasaki charge in third.

Completing front row, like Lowry, the qualifying session also marked a maiden outright top four start for James Westmoreland and the WFR Honda team.

In fact, a number of notable performances would emerge from the qualifying session, which began damp but would dry by the conclusion of SP2 and the entirety of SP3.

Indeed, Chris Walker's run to fifth on the grid marks his best grid position since Mallory Park in 2009, the Pr1mo Bournemouth Kawasaki Racing rider climbing the order with his very final lap, while BSB rookie Luca Scassa starts inside the top ten for the first time aboard the second of the Padgetts Honda.

A frustrating session for Tyco Suzuki, which looked amongst the favourites for pole position having lapped with the pace setters all weekend, while Josh Brookes was able to qualify in seventh, it was only after squeezing through SP1 and SP2 with last gasp laps. His team-mate Alastair Seeley, however, could only manage 17th position on the grid.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Tommy Hill - Jamie Morris
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
TOMMY HILL SWAN YAMAHA - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood Photography]
Tommy Hill - Swan Yamaha
Tommy Hill Swan Yamaha - [picture credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Luke Mossey, JG Speedfit Kawasaki, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Josh Brookes, Anvil Hire Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Michael Laverty, McAMS Yamaha, [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Peter Hickman, Smiths BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Christian Iddon, Tyco BMW [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Bradley Ray, Buildbase Suzuki [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
James Ellison, McAMS Yamaha [Credit: Ian Hopgood]
Dan Linfoot, Honda Racing [Credit: Ian Hopgood]

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