BSB Thruxton: Hill shakes off morning crash for pole

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Tommy Hill put the Worx Suzuki on pole for tomorrow’s BSB round at Thruxton with the fastest-ever lap on a motorcycle seen at the 2.356-mile Hampshire circuit.

Hill shook off the after-effects of a massive 110mph crash in the morning, which left his team working flat out to get his battered bike ready for the afternoon qualifying session.

In final qualifying Hill was the only rider to break the 1:15s barrier. He clocked a 1:14.36, well inside Gregorio Lavilla’s 2006 lap record of 1:14.89 and under Hill’s own pole of 1:14.43 in 2007 on the Virgin Yamaha.

Hill’s morning crash happened just a few yards before James Ellison went down in virtually the same place on the Swan Honda. He sustained a broken right femur.

After claiming pole, Hill said; “My thoughts are with James. I’ve been in the position myself and it’s not something you want to go through.

“I’m delighted to be on pole. I didn’t realise the time. I saw P1 on my board and rolled it a bit but looking back, it was an awesome lap.

“I have to thank the boys who did such a good job betting the bike better after the massive off I had this morning.”

ichael Rutter shocked everyone with second fastest time with the Riders Ducati. He tried soft ‘zero’ compound tyre but ended up setting his best time with a worn SC01 tyre – the next hardest tyre in the range.

Stuart Easton and Yukio Kagayama complete the front row. Easton finally put together some strong laps with the Swan Honda after blaming himself earlier in practice for not being on the pace. Kagayama gradually improved his times in each session to the point where he was able to clock the fourth quickest time.

Qualifying was littered with drama. Adam Jenkinson highsided on the start/finish straight and brought out the red flag. Alastair Seeley crashed at Campbell. Martin Jessopp’s Ducati sprung an oil leak. David Wood’s KTM blew up on the start/finish straight. Then Michael Laverty grounded the engine case on the chicane kerbing and his bike destroyed itself in a series of barrel–rolls.

That red flag incident allowed Seeley time to get his stricken Suzuki back for repairs and he was able to qualify eighth.

Chris Walker didn’t make Q3 after his Suzuki gear linkage broke.

Top ten qualifiers
Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 1:14.366s
Michael Rutter ( Ducati) +0.804s
Stuart Easton (Swan Honda) +0.812s
Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki) +0.871s
John Laverty (Buildbase Kawasaki) +1.089s
Dan Linfoot (Motorpoint Yamaha) +1.148s
Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +1.183s
Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +1.197s
Christian Iddon ( SMT Honda) +2.438s
Chris Walker (CW Racing Suzuki) machine problem at start of session
Superbike lap record
Gregorio Lavilla, Ducati, 1m 14.890secs, 113.25mph (2006)   


Gary Pinchin

By Gary Pinchin