Hill grabs pole for Bank Holiday Monday Cadwell
Tommy Hill secured pole position for tomorrow’s Bank Holiday Monday ninth round of the British Superbike Championship at Cadwell Park after heading off fierce challenges from his title rivals Josh Brookes and Ryuichi Kiyonari.
The Worx Suzuki rider is currently second in the standings, seven points down on Kiyonari, and is keen to rack up his podium credits as the series heads into the final three-round title “Showdown”.
It was Hill’s fourth pole start of the season, and his first since the fourth round at Cadwell Park.
Hill said: “The speed in the wet was particularly pleasing as we’ve had one or two issues in those conditions, but we’ve worked at them and got them right for here.
“We’ve done a good job so far, but now we have to work on from pole to take the races.
“It would be nice to get a couple of race wins here, get on top of the points to be a good position going into the Showdown section of the series,” added Hill who hasn’t won a race since Thruxton in April.
“I have to set that record straight – I’m here to win, not just rack up points. I know that podium credits are important in the final outcome, but, I want maximum scores here,” Hill added.
Brookes, a winner last time out at Cadwell Park, closed within a third of a second of Hill, but was disappointed at having to settle for second best while his HM Plant Honda team-mate Kiyonari, bidding to take the British crown for a third time, was third fastest.
The leading trio in the standings filled the three rider front row with Michael Rutter on the RidersMotorcycles.com Ducati; Simon Andrews aboard the MSS Colchester Kawasaki and Relentless Suzuki’s Michael Laverty lining up on the second row.
These races define the six riders who will go forward into the “Showdown for the Title” over the final seven races of the season – already Kiyonari, Hill, Brookes, Rutter and Michael Laverty are qualified as “title-fighters” with Alastair Seeley, a third row starter on his Relentless Suzuki looking the most likely of the three riders vying for the one remaining position to progress.
His rivals, Swan Honda rider Stuart Easton, starting from the fifth row, and John Laverty on the Buildbase Kawasaki, a further row back, face an uphill struggle.
Top ten qualifying times
Tommy Hill (Worx Crescent Suzuki) 1m:27.343s
Josh Brookes (HM Plant Honda) +0.352s
Ryuichi Kiyonari (HM Plant Honda) +0.493s
Michael Rutter (Ridersmotorcycles.com Ducati) +0.660s
Simon Andrews (MSS Colchester Kawasaki) +0.766s
Michael Laverty (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +0.767s
James Ellison (Swan Honda) +1.079s
Alastair Seeley (Relentless Suzuki by TAS) +1.550s
Yukio Kagayama (Worx Crescent Suzuki) + 1.575s
Tommy Bridewell (Quay Garage Tyco Honda) + 1.701s