Plenty of competition for British Superbikes champ Tommy Hill

10:33 05 April 2012

Current champion Tommy Hill finished second in last year

Current champion Tommy Hill finished second in last year's race

Archant

Beckenham biker Tommy Hill begins his defence of the British Superbikes title this weekend at brands Hatch, the scene where he captured last year’s crown.

Hill edged out ex-GP star John Hopkins by just 0.006 seconds at the final round at Brands Hatch to take the British Superbike title. This Easter weekend the 2012 season starts again at the iconic Kentish circuit and the defending Champion has an even wider line-up of potential challengers, starting with his new Swan Yamaha team-mate, World Superbike legend, Noriyuki Haga.

'Man of Kent' Shane Byrne lines up to challenge for his third BSB title as he switches marque to the Paul Bird run Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki squad with the ever popular Scot Stuart Easton who is returning from injuring. In fact in the corresponding 2011 event, at the short 'Indy' layout at Brands, local lads Hill and Byrne shared a win apiece. Other title challengers include the hard-charging Josh Brookes (Tyco Suzuki by TAS) and the in-form man in recent tests; Michael Laverty on the new-look blue Samsung Honda.

As the series looks to again promote six 'Title Fighters' for the final three 'Showdown' rounds there is an extremely impressive list of potential riders including; Alastair Seeley (Tyco Suzuki), Jon Kirkham (Samsung Honda), Michael Rutter and Peter Hickman (MSS Bathams Kawasaki) Ian Lowry and Luca Scassa (Padgetts Honda), youngsters Graeme Gowland, Alex Lowes and James Westmoreland (all WFR Honda) plus a host of other quality riders from the UK and abroad.

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