British Superbikes: Tommy Hill loses ground after collision with reigning champion Kiyonari

10:31 07 July 2011

Tommy Hill

Tommy Hill

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Beckenham-born rider Tommy Hill was left to wonder what might have been after seeing his hopes of a podium double end in a tangle with defending MCE Insurance British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari at Snetterton.

Beckenham-born rider Tommy Hill was left to wonder what might have been after seeing his hopes of a podium double end in a tangle with defending MCE Insurance British Superbike champion Ryuichi Kiyonari at Snetterton.

Fresh from topping the podium twice at Knockhill last time out, Hill kept up his title charge by finishing second behind rival John Hopkins in the opening race.

The Swan Yamaha rider looked destined to top up his all important podium credits – which come into play in the end-of-season championship showdown – in the second race of the day only to run into the back of eventual winner Kiyonari.

Hill was left with nowhere to go once the Japanese rider slammed on the breaks coming into a corner and after being forced to retire as a result struggled to hide his frustrations.

“I felt I could have won the first race but John just pipped me at the end so fair play to him,” said Hill – who sits third overall with 140 points. “And I was gutted about race two, Kiyo’s clipped my front wheel and I’ve just gone down.

“It just shows you what can happen, but I feel we would have been on the podium in race two but I had nowhere to go. He just come across me and that took me out of the race.

“It just shows, we ran well in race one and race two just didn’t go our way. It’s annoying because I’m out there to win races and I want to be at the top end.

“Race two could have been ours if we rode like we did in race one – but those are the ups and downs and we’ll just go back now and regroup and come back again next time.”

Hill will have to wait two weeks to take out his frustrations at Oulton Park and admitted his desperation to top the podium for a third successive race almost got the better of him.

“On the last lap [of the first race] all I was thinking is ‘I have to win this race’ but all credit to John as he just had the edge,” added Hill.

“I was feeling good in the opening laps but the grip level was dropping off after the safety car and I knew I just had to do everything I can to try and take that first win here.

“I gave it everything, 110 per cent to get past ‘Hopper’ and it could have ended in tears because on the last lap there were a couple of times I was close to wiping him out.

“We didn’t quite get the win but a second place and more podium credits for the Swan Yamaha team was what we needed so we will see what we can do in the next race.”

n British Eurosport 2 will be broadcasting every round of the 2011 British Superbike Championship. The channel is available on Sky 411 & Virgin Media 525. Watch online via the Eurosport Player (www.eurosportplayer.co.uk).

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