Former MCE British Superbike champion Tommy Hill has confirmed he is withdrawing in his THM Yamaha squad ahead of the 2017 campaign, citing a lack of sponsorship funding and not wanting to risk a team without a full budget.
Hill proudly set-up his own team with the title sponsorship from ePayMe and support from Yamaha in 2016 and despite difficulties extracting a strong set-up and performance with the YZF-R1 plus rider injuries, the team still enjoyed success with John Hopkins scoring a double podium at the season finale at Brands Hatch.
After losing title sponsors ePayMe, Hill had been working thoroughly to secure a full sponsorship package for 2017 but understood running a team on a reduced budget isn't fair on current sponsors or team members.
In a poignant Facebook post, Hill confirmed the news and wants to still play a role in BSB but has accepted in his current situation running a team won't be financially viable for 2017.
“I've taken into consideration the personal investment, loans and loss of family time over the past year,” Hill said. “After spending the last three months trying to secure a title sponsor without success and one of which is willing to invest the amount required to run a SBK team at high level, it seems only right to draw a line in the sand.
“I would personally not have the balls to risk everything I have and invest it into the team if I didn't secure the full budget needed. I would be putting my team, riders future and sponsors in jeopardy if I couldn't see out the season.
“There will be lots of people expressing their views on the current situation on teams in BSB, but all I can say is the championship is thriving with supporters, viewing figures are high and I stand by saying its a great marketing platform for any brand to be involved with. It's been an experience, thank you to everyone!”