We caught up with Shoei racer and reigning British Superbike champion, Tommy Hill, at Round 7 of the BSB championship at Brands Hatch to talk about defending the crown he worked so hard for and his other off track activities!
Sitting comfortably in the Shoei Race Support Service, the Swan Yamaha rider was his usual charismatic self.
Also, check out what happens in the background toward the end of the video (2min 37s). Just another day in the BSB paddock…
Sunday July 8, 2012
For the third event in succession, Shoei MotoGP rider James Ellison scored World Championship points as the Sachsenring circuit in Germany hosted the eighth round of the MotoGP World Championship.
Aboard the Claiming Rules Team (CRT) specification PBM UK Aprilia ART, the 31-year-old from Kendal was feeling much better following on from his crash at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone three weeks ago which affected his performance at Assen last week although he did score points on both of those occasions.
Ellison impressed during Friday’s wet free practice session to set fastest CRT time but couldn’t manage to maintain that pace when it dried out and eventually settled for 15th position after today’s race to move up a position in the championship standings.
James Ellison: “It was another tough one if I’m being truthful. We were really consistent on lap times and just 0.9 seconds off the best CRT lap and 2.8 seconds off the fastest lap set by Dani Pedrosa. My start was good but because I was so far back on grid, it was always going to be difficult to get away with the leading CRT bikes. I hung in with Pasini, Edwards and Hernandez for a long time but just started to lose touch at half race distance. I was pushing so hard to catch Hernandez right until the end but it just wasn’t enough. To come away with another championship point and one place higher in the table is a positive and so is the information we have gathered on the longer chassis we have been testing for the last three races. The other ARTs have been running a stiffer swingarm for the last three races which improves the rear grip so I’m hoping when we get this we can close the gap back up to the leaders. The team as usual worked their bits off so big thanks to them for staying positive and getting behind me.”
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1, Dani Pedrosa SPA (Repsol Honda Team)
2, Jorge Lorenzo SPA (Yamaha Factory Racing)
3, Andrea Dovizioso ITA (Monster Yamaha Tech 3)
4, Ben Spies USA (Yamaha Factory Racing)
5, Stefan Bradl GER (LCR Honda MotoGP)
6, Valentino Rossi ITA (Ducati Team)
15, James Ellison GBR (Paul Bird Motorsport)
With the annual Dutch MotoGP held on a Saturday it was a weekend full of bike racing as the Superbike World Championship was in Spain at the Aragon circuit on the Sunday.
A truly epic race that saw wheel-to-wheel racing for the entire duration and 3rd position decided by only 0.001 of a second! Red Bull KTM rider and Shoei racer, Sandro Cortese, finished a hard fought second place to championship leader, Maverick Vinales, and now sits seven points adrift from the Spaniard.
Marc Marquez claimed a stunning victory in the Moto2 class and strengthened his championship lead to 23 points over Andrea Iannone. Fellow Shoei rider Thomas Luthi crashed out early and slipped from second in the championship to joint third. Britain’s Bradley Smith finished a valiant 6th.
Not a great race for Shoei’s Alvaro Bautista. The San Carlo Honda rider missed his breaking point for the first corner and crashed, taking out championship leader and fellow Spaniard, Jorge Lorenzo. The mistake will see him at the back of the grid for the German Grand Prix this weekend.
Britain’s James Ellison finished a brave 14th, still suffering the affects of his huge highside at Silverstone two weeks.
Kenan Sofuoglu crossed the line first in Spain but was penalised four places for an incident with Fabien Foret, who eventually finished second. The Kawasaki Lorenzini rider still leads the championship by 16 points and his teammate and fellow Shoei rider, Sheridan Morais, finished third.
ParkinGo Aprilia’s Chaz Davies was top Shoei rider with a 4th place with Eugene Laverty finishing a position behind on the Factory RSV4.
A truly epic race that saw the top four battle until the very end with a series of hard passes. BMW’s Marco Melandri took the victory, but British Shoei riders Eugene Laverty and Chaz Davies share the final two podium places with the latter making his debut rostrum in Superbikes.
Moto 2 star Bradley Smith has been in the Grand Prix paddock for seven years despite only being 21. One of the nicest blokes you’d ever meet, we caught up with before his home race to talk about being a veteran, his new replica helmet and a ride in MotoGP.
SHOEI: How do you think your season is going?
Bradley Smith: Erm, it’s been a tough one. Definitely not an easy season, but we are only five races in and I know there is a lot more racing to do and things to try and achieve. I’ve scored in the first five races – which is the main thing – but we need to make sure these are in the top 10 and then working to the top 6.
SHOEI: You’ve recently celebrated your 100th Grand Prix start. Has it gone quick?
BS: Terribly quick! I was thinking about everything I’ve done in that time. People say that at 21 I am still young, but I’ve been in this championship seven years now. I feel well old – a veteran!
There was a point where I think I had a podium record of one in three or in four races, which considering when I started on a Honda (in 125s) as a rookie they were good statistics to have!
The last two years have gone a bit empty, just because of moving up to a new class with Moto2, but three podiums was more than good enough in my debut year. But I’ve got a silver second place championship medal sat at home, I’ve been on the podium more than 20 times, I’ve nine pole position watches – yeah, I’m pretty happy with how the 100 GPs have have gone.
SHOEI: You’re heading to MotoGP next year with Tech 3. Is it hard not to think about that?
BS: To be honest, because this season has been such hard work it means that I’ve had no time to focus on MotoGP. The fact that it is sat there waiting for me and I can pick it up in November when I get the chance to ride the bike, I don’t really have to worry about it. Obviously I like to see what is going on with the Tech3 boys in MotoGP, they’re doing a good job, Yamaha have delivered a good bike, Lorenzo’s winning, that fills me with great confidence and I have a prize waiting for me at the end of the year to take. If it means I get off the Moto2 bike at the end of the year on to a potential winning machine and then it is down to me to learn how to ride it and do my job properly. I’m quite looking forward to having a
SHOEI: You’ve used Shoei helmets for five Grand Prix seasons, what do you like most about them?
BS: My favourite part is the low profile – when you are in the aerodynamic position, the helmet isn’t still stuck above the screen. Coming from 125s as quite a tall guy – quite a tall guy in Moto2 as well – I was always really finicky about trying to get tucked in as much as possible. As soon as I used Shoei in 2008 I looked at pictures of me riding and I could see just how tucked behind the bubble I was getting. Small things can make a big difference.
I love being involved with Shoei and the whole family. The racing service is always great. We never have problems – whatever the conditions – with the helmet the performance is always top. When you’re racing at this or any level, you can’t afford things to be wrong – especially with your helmet. But nothing ever goes wrong.
SHOEI: How many Shoei X-Spirit IIs do you have for a race?
BS: I have four helmets prepped for a session – two for dry conditions and two for wet. I try and use to two ‘wet’ ones in a wet practice session. Water can seep in if you do something like lift the visor and mess it up – so I swap if I come back in the pits. It can be the same in dry; you’re that hot and sweaty you don’t want to put it back on.
A helmet is a funny thing. It is the last thing you put on before battle and it has to be right. Putting a new clean one always feels better than a hot sweaty one!
SHOEI: With the Shoei XR1100 Bradley this is the first year you’ve had your own replica helmet available. How does that feel?
BS: I can’t believe people would go out and buy my helmet; it really is one of those strange things! I tried to buy a couple from Feridax (Shoei UK Importer) for my friends and I was told they had none left – all the dealers had really got behind it and taken all the stock. I’m astounded!
Honestly, when I’ve seen people wearing my replica on the road I always go ‘wow!’ You look at other peoples replicas from MotoGP and you instantly spot them and to have my own and that people are going out there and buying it with their hard-earned money is pretty cool. I don’t feel like I’ve made it now, but it does feel pretty special.
SHOEI: Here are some questions from fans via Twitter @ShoeiHelmetsUK
@Carlosoul_ What assize helmet do you wear?
BS: Small, but with extra thick cheek pads – like it really tight fitting!
@BennCarpeeenta: If you could chose a teammate from any class, who would it be and why?
BS: Erm (long pause), probably Valentino Rossi. Because of the knowledge he has. He’s been in the paddock since 1996 and has ridden so many different bikes and his technical feedback on a machine is unrivalled. That’d definitely be a help in my first MotoGP year!
@Hainesyboy: Who do you think your teammate will be next year in MotoGP, Cal Crutchlow or Andrea Dovizioso?
BS: I have no idea. Going on current form, you would think I am riding Dovi’s bike as the guy is doing a slightly better job and looks the best fit for going on the factory bike. But who knows – the silly season is still in progress!
@LeeSpelzini: How do you prepare before a race?
BS: A lot of training away from the racetrack and much less at the track. Racing is all about mind set, so just trying to get focussed and step away from too much talking before practice.
I visualise the track so I know where I’m going to go, read through notes where I need to improve from the last session. For example, some corners give you a good lap time and some don’t – no matter how fast you ride through them – so it doesn’t give you benefit. So analysing small details like that.
@MsCatRedbreast: Would you rather be attacked by one horse-sized duck or ten duck-sized horses?
BS: What?! Ten duck-sized horses I’d imagine. A big one is going to wipe you out. Small ones give you more chance, right?
Andrews will have to have four inches of bone cut out of his leg
By David Miller
Image by Double Red
Our thoughts are with Worcestershire British Superbike star and Shoei man Simon Andrews, who will undergo a bone graft later this week to replace four inches of shin that will have to be removed from this right leg after a massive crash at Snetterton yesterday.
Andrews slid off at Riches alongside the Jentin Honda of Steve Brogan and the Liverpool rider’s Fireblade collected Andrews’ leg, badly broke the tibia and fibula, and ripped open the skin.
“They will have to take out around four inches of bone and graft some on from his pelvis, then the plastic surgeons can close up the wound and we can go from there,” said Charle Aitchinson, Andrews’ close friend.
“They are very confident of a full recovery and have already put fixator pins on the bone so a cage can be attached as soon as the operation is done. There are no current problems with circulation and Simon is chatty but in quite a lot of pain.”
Kiyo anchors-up and Hill has to get out of the way
By David Miller at Snetterton
Image by Jamie Morris
Shoei man Tommy Hill had to take evasive action in the second British Superbike race at Snetterton on Sunday after Ryuichi Kiyonari anchored-up unexpecedly hard into the new hairpin (Monterey), leaving Hill nowhere to go but down.
The Lingfield man had podiumed behind John Hopkins in the first outing but could do nothing about this spill. Even though the race was red-flagged for Simon Andrews and Steve Brogan’s get-off, Hill wasn’t allowed back on track.
“In race two I knew we had the pace to challenge for the win and I got off the line well and maintained third position. We just went into Montreal and Kiyo stopped directly in front of me and there was nothing else I could do other than brake hard but I had nowhere to go,” said Hill.
“I got back on and there was some damage to the Swan Yamaha and unfortunately I couldn’t make the restart as I hadn’t made it back out before the red flag. I am gutted as I thought we could have won that second race and I desperately wanted to be out there rather than watching from the garage.”
Source: Jamie Morris
Tinmouth in action at Snetterton last weekend
By Martin Knighton
Image by Double Red
Shoei Girl Jenny Tinmouth tackled the much talked about new 2.97 mile Snetterton 300 circuit last weekend. Getting to grips with the new layout Jenny finished in 27th place in Saturday’s sprint race but followed up with an impressive 18th position in Sunday’s feature race.
Using both of Friday’s free practice sessions to find her lines and braking markers she would improve her times by over three seconds to end the day with a time of 1 minute 57.744 seconds placing her in 24th position going into Saturday’s one and only qualifying session.
As everybody increased their pace during qualification, Jenny did the same, reducing her times by a further second to take 23rd place on the grid for the sprint race.
Unfortunately the race didn’t go altogether to plan with Jenny losing several places in the early laps largely due to braking issues in the heavy braking areas, but despite the 27th place finish she had gained further knowledge of the circuit which she would take forward into Sunday’s feature race.
With different brake pads fitted Jenny lined up in 28th place on the grid for Sundays 15 lap feature race. This time she made a good start and immediately benefitted from the improved braking performance. At the completion of lap one she had gained three places, and was in 20th position by lap five.
Continuing to battle hard with her rivals, she gained two further places, taking the chequered flag in a highly respectable 18th position setting her best time on lap ten, a time of 1 minute 55.132 seconds, which equates to a huge six seconds improvement from the time she set during the opening free practice.
Now having two rounds under her belt back on the trusty Manx Glass and Glazing backed Honda CBR600RR Jenny’s confidence is coming back in abundance as she looks forward to her ‘home’ round next time out at Oulton Park.
“I really enjoyed the new Snetterton 300 circuit, first of all getting used to the new layout and then to progressively improve my lap times. During the weekend I got myself settled back into Supersport racing and had a really good second race,” said Tinmouth.
“I’m pleased with the result and my progress over the weekend, I’m really happy on the bike and my confidence is growing each time I go out on track. It was a really good weekend and now I’m looking forward to Oulton Park, my local round in just over a week’s time. As always massive thanks to Steve, Martin, Ken at Majestic Engineering, and my main sponsor, Manx Glass and Glazing.”
I represent Team “Past It” an F2 sidecar team who competed in this years TT races. The team name derives from the rider’s ages, driver Robin Daykin being 74 years old and passenger Annette Daykin (Robin’s long suffering wife) being 60 years old. Robin and Annette race in Shoei helmets but at the TT we had been having great difficulty getting suitable visors and tear-offs.
You can imagine my relief when I looked out of my camper van one morning and saw the Shoei service van parked in the paddock. I quickly introduced myself and the Team to Paul, who was providing the service, and he very soon had us sorted out with a clear and dark visor for each helmet along with suitable tear-offs. In addition we only had to present the helmets to Paul after each session on the circuit and they were duly serviced and fitted with more tear-offs ready for the next session. Team “Past It” were very grateful for everything that you and Paul did for us and it certainly meant we had one less thing to worry about.
The Team received a great deal of publicity mainly because of their ages, Robin being the oldest rider ever to compete at the TT, and because it was 54 years since Robin last raced on the Mountain circuit having competed in the 1957 Manx Gran Prix on an AJS 7R, 54 years between a first and second appearance on the TT circuit is also a record. Unfortunately Paul only had some small Shoei stickers to give us but these were duly displayed on the sidecar outfit, the team van and the display poster outside the awning. Many many photos were taken of the outfit, both on the circuit and in the paddock, and the Shoei stickers will be seen on all of these.
There was also an Austrian film crew filming a documentary of Klaus Klaffenbock and they spent a lot of time filming Team “Past It” on and off the outfit. This film crew has some tie up to the Red Bull drinks firm owner. Although the film is to be shown all over the continent it will not be shown in the UK, unless plans change. Robin and Annette unfortunately did not qualify for the first sidecar race, never having got a clear practice lap in all week, but they qualified for the second race and were ov erjoyed to get the much sought after finish.
In addition to their Finisher’s Awards they were also presented with the Marshall’s Trophy for the Best Newcomers and the Frank Cope Trophy, a huge cup and two silver replicas. Photos can be provided if you would like any for publicity purposes, Robin and Annette may not be as well known as John McGuinness or Guy Martin but they are well known and well respected in the sidecar world……and, I suspect, by a lot of TT spectators now who have re-christened them Team “Not So Past It”.
Thank you once again for the assistance so freely given to Team “Past It” it is much appreciated and if you want to supply us with some larger Shoei stickers we will make sure they are duly displayed. Although I live in West Yorkshire, Robin and Annette live in Turriff, Aberdeenshire but travel to England and Wales for all their racing. Next meeting is at Cadwell Park on 2/3 July followed by the Cock ‘o the North meeting at Oliver’s Mount, Scarborough on 23/24 July
Regards Dan Clark
Hill in contemplative mood earlier in the season
By BSB desk
Image by Double Red
Shoei Man Tommy Hill is more confident going into this weekend’s British Superbike round at Snetterton than he has been all season after his first ever double win last time out at Knockhill where he dominated both races.
The Lingfield rider romped away from series leader Shane Byrne and reckons that the base setting he has for the YZF-R1 should suit the Norfolk circuit where he did a handful of laps in testing before crashing at Riches, damaging his elbow.
“We have a very strong base setting on the Swan Yamaha and I think that should be a place for us to start this weekend. It has been good for us; it took us to pole at Oulton Park and then a pole again and double win at Knockhill so we are hopefully not going to be far off from the start,” said Hill.
“I am just looking forward to getting out in practice and getting some laps in as I have done fewer than most of the other riders as when we were here for the test I had a crash and only did a handful of laps. The new track is going to be exciting that’s for sure and really for the first time this season everyone is in the same position with a completely new track.
“I definitely want to be back at the front collecting the points and the podium credits for the championship. My confidence is probably the highest it has been since before my crash at Oulton Park so it can’t come soon enough.”