Tommy Hill says he's optimistic with his team's progress as THM ePayMe Yamaha prepares for its debut campaign in the MCE British Superbike championship with Stuart Easton and John Hopkins.
Reuniting a famous rivalry from 2011 when Hill claimed the BSB title from Hopkins by the narrowest of margins, the team was announced as part of the 2016 grid as the sun set on the final day of last season.
Hill, rekindling a partnership with Yamaha, has confirmed it will be using the title-winning YZF-R1s in 2016 and gave a progress report at the London motorcycle show on his preparations for the new season.
“We are doing well and getting momentum but we are a new team on the block,” Hill said. “We may have a lot of experience coming from myself, the crew chiefs and the riders but it is our first year with everyone together and getting used to each other.
“Things are coming on well. It is difficult to set up an all-new infrastructure for a team considering back in the first week of November we didn't even have a nut or a bolt. To have all the bikes, equipment and kit everything done now is good. We've got the Milwaukee Yamaha bikes from last year and two very good riders which stands us in a good position.”
The 2011 BSB champion says it's been an interesting learning experience building the team up and is confident the foundation-laying work will pay off when his squad arrives at Silverstone for the 2016 curtain raiser on the 8-10 April.
“It is work in progress and it can always be better because it is motorbike racing and all revolves around sponsorship,” he explained. “We've got ePayMe as title sponsors and guys like KGN who have supported us with garage equipment which is great.
“Everyday changes whether a supplier is late or something isn't quite right or on time. It is ongoing and nobody sees what goes into the teams and there is a lot, trust me, especially starting from scratch. We've got a lot to do in the next few weeks but for us it is important to get the first few tests underway and get some miles under our belts and be ready for Silverstone.”
The THM ePayMe Yamaha team is gearing up for four days of pre-season testing in Spain in early March before returning to the its UK base ahead of the official BSB test days at Silverstone the week before the first round of the year.