Tommy Hill says he has 'nothing to lose' during the final round of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch after an unusually anonymous weekend at Silverstone put him on the cusp of losing his BSB crown.
Already on the back foot after a costly non-score at Assen wiped out his pre-Showdown advantage in the standings, Hill was nonetheless looking good for a fight back at Silverstone when he qualified on the front row in second place.
However, an incorrect tyre choice would see him slump behind the lead pack early on, eventually crossing the line a distant seventh with a lap time that was only good enough for 13th on the grid in race two.
A change of tyres appeared to give Hill a boost in race two as he quickly worked his way into lead contention, but once again a lack of grip would see him fall away during the second-half of the race. He would eventually cross the line in seventh place again.
It means Hill, who was 35 points ahead of the competition before the standings were equalised, has scored just 31 points in the last four races, compared with Shane Byrne's 85, Josh Brookes's 74 and Alex Lowes's 82. As a result, he has slid almost out of contention, 42 points behind Byrne with just three races remaining, much to his evident frustration.
“It has been a nightmare here for us this weekend. The last two rounds of the championship we have been to, Assen and Silverstone, are tracks that are a different nature to the ones earlier in the year and we don't want to make excuses but we have struggled with grip. The results we have had today are not what we needed for the championship and we have nothing to lose now.”
Indeed, having come into the 'Title Showdown' as the hot favourites for back-to-back titles after winning seven races this year, the swift turnaround has left the Swan Yamaha team reeling.
“This year the Showdown hasn't gone our way but we need to finish the job we started,” lamented team owner Shaun Muir. “It has been a difficult weekend and we are now looking to salvage the best results we can from the final round. We have been the favourites all the way and in the space of eight days we have gone from hero to zero. It is disappointing for the team but now we just want to go to Brands Hatch and end the season in style.”