British Superbike BSB: Virgin Yamaha Croft Preview August 10, 2007
Virgin Media Optoma Loans Yamaha will head to Croft in North Yorkshire to contest round 10 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship this weekend, 10 – 12 August.
During the three-week interval since Mallory Park, Tommy Hill has benefited from time in the saddle on two occasions. A comprehensive test at Cadwell Park at the end of July was followed by an excellent performance onboard the Yamaha SSP Racing World Supersport R6. Tommy claimed a stunning fifth across the line in his first outing on the Supersport machine, boosting the 22-year olds confidence ahead of the forthcoming two races around the technical 2.13mile Croft circuit.
“I’m really looking forward to Croft. It’s going to take a few laps to get used to the Superbike again after last weekend but I’m hoping to get a couple of strong results. Again there will be a little extra pressure on me as the only Virgin Media Optoma Loans Yamaha Superbike rider, but that’ll just get me fired up even more.”
Virgin Media Yamaha Supersport rider, Billy McConnell will be looking to continue the recent form that has seen the young Australian record three top five finishes in as many races, as he lines up on the grid for Sunday’s 18-lap race.
Despite the threat of a three-race ban looming over his head for the remainder of the season, Billy’s riding has matured in recent rounds and future visits to the podium will only be a matter of time.
Tom Grant returns to the circuit where he claimed second on his way to clinching the 2006 Virgin Media Cup title. Classed as his home round, the 19-year old from Shiptonthorpe in Yorkshire will be looking for a repeat performance of his debut podium at Knockhill six weeks ago.
Rob McElnea, Team Principal:
“Croft is a circuit that we have already tested at twice this year so all our riders are familiar with the track. We had a really successful test at Cadwell in the week after Mallory, mainly centered on the Virgin Media Cup guys, however Tommy, Billy and Tom all benefited from plenty of track time. Let’s hope the weather conditions work in our favour this time out and we’ll be looking for the results that we’ve worked hard for and feel we deserve.”
Virgin Media Cup
BJ Toal retains the championship-leading Pirelli Diablo Yamaha YZF-R6 as the Virgin Media Cup heads to Croft for round 9 of the 2007 series, this weekend 11 – 12 August.
James Webb will be eager to at least replicate his third place around the 2.17mile circuit last season. Midge Smart and David Paton will both also be eager to close the thirty-point gap that BJ Toal is currently enjoying.
Meanwhile, further down the field a number of riders will be battling to consolidate top ten championship positions as the series heads towards the final few rounds. Dean Hipwell and Leon Morris are both tied on 65 points, with a resurgent Robbie Brown piling on the pressure over recent rounds to improve on his current seventh position.
The riders recently had the opportunity to test at Cadwell Park. Not only did it proffer the chance to get some laps around the venue for the next round over the August Bank Holiday, but to receive some excellent advice and guidance from senior team members and the vastly experienced former British Champion, James Whitham.
Niall Mackenzie, Cup Mentor:
“BJ still holds all the aces but Croft is a tricky and technical circuit and James rode really well to claim third last year. With the double-header at Donington still looming on the horizon, the final stretch to the finish line is going to be electric.”