Hill on the pace at Croft

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Tommy Hill lapped Croft yesterday consistently quicker than his best-ever lap on race rubber around the 2.12-mile circuit.

Hill was testing the all-new 16-valve Virgin Media Yamaha R1 alongside his new team-mate James Haydon, and clocked a best lap of 1:21.0, 0.7s quicker than his previous best at the circuit.

Hill said: “I’m so pleased with the new bike. We’ve got a really good base setting and where last year’s bike had quite a harsh power delivery the engine of the new bike is smooth which makes it much easier to control coming out of the corners.

“I’m amazed at my lap times. The weather was perfect but the track was quite dirty around the back at Barcroft and Sunny In and Sunny Out.

“I can’t wait for the Snetterton test in two weeks time to see how we shape up against the rest.”

Haydon spent a lot of time working through the selection of Pirelli tyres and clocked a best lap of 1:21.9.

He said: “There’s nothing on the new bike that needs addressing. The engine’s an absolute gem and the chassis has been good straight out of the box.

“I was apprehensive about the tyres when I signed but they’re good. 
But I shouldn’t be too surprised, looking at the sort of lap times the guys are doing on the production tyres in WSB.”

The Virgin supersport team was also at the test. Billy McConnell and Tom Grant recorded times in the low 1:23s.


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Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin