The Virgin Mobile Samsung Yamaha British Superbike team endured a weekend of mixed fortune at the opening round of the British Superbike Championship at Silverstone, but rookie Tommy Hill notched up his first points in the championship.

Superbike rookie and Yamaha R6 Cup Champion Tommy Hill celebrated scoring his first-ever British Superbike points at the mixed weather of Silverstone in March. The 19-year-old racer brought his Yamaha R1 home in fourteenth and ninth places in his first two outings of the year and, with it, a points tally of eleven.

The rising star was delighted with his first weekend's work. "Fantastic! For years I have dreamt of competing at this level and never did I think that I would score points in both races," he said at the end of the day. "Obviously I don't want to get carried away but I really hope that I can build on this and aim to finish consistently in the top ten. It was also the first time I've experienced two races in one day and I'm really pleased that I don't feel too tired. It is hard work but just the sort of work I like."

Meanwhile it wasn't such good news for Tommy's team-mates Steve Plater and Gary Mason. Plater's first race of the day was curtailed when he high-sided at Maggots. The Woodhall-Spa racer injured his foot but returned to the grid for race two, while Mason was forced to retire for his first race after encountering mechanical problems.

The two racers turned their fortunes around in the second outing of the day and both fought a hard battle in a championship that is fast becoming the most highly-regarded Superbike series in the world. Their hard work paid off as Mason finished in eighth place ahead of Plater in ninth.

Team boss Rob McElnea offers his take on the weekend. "We knew that this first race at Silverstone was going to be difficult," he surmised. "When you have a brand new bike the start of the season always comes around too quickly and our lack of testing time proved costly, however, saying that, we have some good data from the weekend and we will continue with our testing schedule and development programme before the next round at Brands Hatch."



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