BSB - Hill wins Cadwell opener
Tommy Hill might have headed to Cadwell Park with his place in the Showdown secure, but that did not stop the British Superbike leader from laying down a marker by winning race one – with absent faces watching on.
The Swan Yamaha rider was sitting pretty atop the overall standings and was already guaranteed a spot in the Showdown – the top six racers the ones to battle it out for the title.
But with second-place Shane Byrne unable to take to the starting grid due to having a shoulder operation after a crash in Saturday’s free practice, Hill was keen to extend his lead and keep the podium points wracking up ahead of the Showdown.
And that is exactly what he did, leading from the very first corner to the chequered flag for his sixth victory of the season – moving him onto 291 points overall, 35 ahead of Byrne.
There was also plenty for Samsung Honda’s Michael Laverty to celebrate as his third-place finish, behind pole-sitter Alex Lowes, moves him onto 188 points and in turn secures his spot in the Showdown alongside Hill, Byrne and Josh Brookes – who could only manage sixth at Cadwell Park.
The WFR Honda team were all smiles on the starting grid as they had Lowes in pole position, their first in British Superbikes.
But the smiles were soon wiped off their faces as reigning champion Hill got a blistering start and was in the lead by the first corner.
Lowes tried his hardest to get back at Hill but the Swan Yamaha rider also put in the fastest lap of the race to win by almost three seconds, and also secure pole position for race two in the process.
Lowes is now just one point off Noriyuki Haga in the sixth and final Showdown spot – the Japanese rider unable to take to the starting grid through injury, while Danny Buchan made a great first impression on his MSS Bathams Kawasaki as he finished fourth in his first ever British Superbike race.
Race one results:
1. T. Hill Swan Yamaha
2. A. Lowes Team WFR Honda
3. M. Laverty Samsung Honda
4. D. Buchan MSS Bathams Kawasaki
5. J. Kirkham Samsung Honda
6. J. Brookes Tyco Suzuki
7. K. Harris Quattro Plant Kawasaki
8. J. Westmoreland Team WFR Honda
9. T. Bridewell Supersonic BMW
10. P. Hickman Buildbase BMW