Suzuka Diary'sHey everyone hows it going, I thought Id give you a little insight to my first ever Suzuka 8 Hour Experience. Only just arriving back late monday night and coming down with an illness over the Suzuka week, its now properly hit me. Im just hoping its not Japanese Swine flu haha, its full on manful, so back on the antibiotics for a while now, but felt I still needed to get everyone a blog out for you all to read.From the start me and PJ (Chief Tech) had a 2 hour flight delay from Gatwick, which meant landing in Frankfurt 2 hours late, we still gave it a try and run through the airport, missing the connecting flight to Nagoya by 2 mins!. So we then walked of with our tail between our legs head down pissed off. Next step was trying to sweet talk the Lufthansa girl at the customer services desk to upgrade us, ha, no chance, instead we waited four hours got a meal voucher, took a flight to china, then got delayed there for another 2 hours, and then onto Nagoya! Not the best start, eventually we arrived in Nagoya and got on the Yamaha bus to the Suzuka Circuit hotel.We spent the next few nights getting over the jetlag, or NOT! No proper sleep cycle ever sat in, so it was a week of sleep at 10:30 up at 3:00am back to sleep again at 5:00am full of beans then up again at 7:00am feeling like death with a hangover. Me and PJ done a track walk on Wednesday. For some reason there wasn't a person in sight, everyone thought we was mad doing a track walk. Anyway we set of, and half way round we got to the spoon curve before the back straight, I was starting to brew up, the tortoise was poking its head half way down the back straight the humidity shot up and me and Pete looked like we had been swimming. As we approached the dip on the back straight the hottest part of the track, there was a toilet, I darted of into the toilet, and from then on it was like trying to do what I needed to do in a Steam room!!! Toilet paper stuck to my hands, sweat running of my head, toilet paper stuck else where! You can imagine! Carnage. I think the track service men felt sorry for two pale faced english men, as I was greeted with a fresh drink when I exited the loo.Over the next few days, we just spent time getting into the swing of the track, free practice sessions, Pit stops, Endurance prep, Tyre testing, etc. On Friday we had a Qualifying session, which got you into the top 10 shoot out, Time Attack. Qualifying went well with me being in the top 4-5 riders out of around 160. On saturday we had another free practice session in the morning, then it went onto the time attack superpole. This was a totally new experience for me, as around 16 riders 2 of the fastest from each team wait in a line in the far end garage, with the team with tyre warmers on and generators going. Once called forward away you go out on the circuit with dead silence. The experience was pretty weird and with a silent atmosphere made it very flat. Once I got out on track it was down to me, but again was a surreal feeling as all weekend you are passing at least 3-4 people each lap, this time there is no one to be seen. Anyway I got stuck in and nailed a lap, which was still 4th fastest overall. Also knowing at the back of my mind Katsu hadn't got a bike due to crashing the session before, so he had to use mine for his lap. As a team we finished in Pole position, the first time ever a European team has done this, as well as my team being the fastest ever rookie time.Race day come along after a long week of riding, and preparing, still feeling pretty week and tired and kept trying to forget about being ill. And trying not to think I only have and 8 Hour race in front of me!!! That was not going to be easy. I was hoping that Mr Miyagi was there with some Japanese medicine. In the end it was a nurofen and an energy bar. After every session they would take my temperature, weight, blood pressure, Heart rate check, it basically was a full blown medical after each stint. After one of the practice sessions I had lost 1.4kg. Before the race actually gets underway, the rider who starts the race in this case it was Katsu has to be on the grid, accompanied by he's team mates, that was me and Nori. We basically role up onto the grid with our Uccio's, that's our little Japanese helpers, mine was too helpful! by the way, and wave to the massive crowd behind us while sweating like a fat kid in a cake shop. Great experience though. I then left the grid a little early to get back cool down, and get prepared for my stint, which was 45 minutes into the race. I was going to be doing around 55 minutes. After some stretching and a little bite of "mie's Pork Bowl" I managed to watch around 15 minutes of the start, and headed to the garage with my Uccio. Every time you exit the rider's room its like walking out of a fridge into an oven, bang it hits you, you then casually take a stroll over to the garage pretending its not that hot, and then sit in the garage, with 20 fans blowing a gail, 6 ice packs down your pants, a Japanese women wiping a cold towel around your neck, drinking hot energy drinks, before you get your raised eyebrows to say its your go!!Unfortunately I didn't get the raised eye brows, as while we where waiting, I got as far as putting my chest protector in and down Katsu went on lap 15! not just a tuck the front crash, this is the second fastest corner on the track. The whole team and myself sat there with total shock! 35 minutes of an 8 Hour race, so only 7Hours and 25 Minutes to go! To be fair he was the fastest out there, and has been. But as the results show 2nd, and 3rd places showed no pace over the weekend but treated it as an endurance race……After several attempts to try and get myself closer to Katsu to try and rescue what we could, and help him get back, we waited for nearly an hour before the bike was up and running again, this meant we where now 30 laps behind. An impossibility. The team done a fantastic job, of re-assembling the bike to as good as it could be, I was then asked to resume my stint, but first check the bike and re-enter the pits. My heart pumped a little, as I was just watching that bike going through the air at over 120mph, doing what looked like the R1 Gymnastics. Taking it very carefully round for one lap, it didn't seem too bad, re-entering the pits for a nut and bolt check, move bar back an inch. I then exited the pits, scratching my head, confused, 30 laps down and worried the forks may snap down the back straight. Anyway I pushed on, and continued to lap the Suzuka circuit, and was currently the fastest on track. Even though riding with hesitation knowing the bike may not be in one piece, and water spraying in my face from the radiator. As the temperature went up on the bike, I had to pit in, at this point I had done around 18 laps. The team decided to give Nori he's stint, until after around 12 laps the team and Yamaha Japan Bosses called it a day. A great disappointment for me and the whole Yamaha Monster Energy team, all weekend we showed our pace and would of out doubt been on the podium, this would of been a result being my first time in Suzuka. But this is racing and as they say shit happens. Yamaha Japan, MotoGp Boss, and YART told me I have a big stamp by my name now, and they say Japan now know Tommy Hill, so this is good for me. And actually meeting the main men from MotoGP, Yamaha Japan Racing I hope should only do me good in the future… Hopefully 2013 Suzuka is better..Big thanks to Pete Jennings for Help support and snoring, YART, Mai My Uccio, Yamaha Japan, Yamaha Europe, Ice, Air con, OS-1, Suit drierThanks for reading, Will update you all soonCheersTommy Hill
"As always thanks for coming back to tommyracer.com to check my blog out, its always appreciated. Since I last wrote, I was just off to spain for pre-season testing. That all went well, and was really just a good chance for us as a team to see what the bikes lilke with the new ECU system which this year everyone has to run. There has been so many questions regarding this new rule, whether it works, or its better or just a load of rubbish. For me I'm not too fussed, I know we worked hard last year getting our chassis right, and we headed in the right direction with adjustments in 2011, obviously with the new rules we may have to help fine tune the chassis to compensate for the lack of full electronics, and strengthen that wrist as the tyre starts going off!. The only downfall I can say would possibly be the fact of over the years the ruling will start to favour individual manufactures, and without the scope of the electronics to improve the a certain bike where it may lack and to make it as competitive as the other bikes, we may just start seeing a one make championship! But then again there may be another rule change by then, moving forward and keeping riders, teams, fans on there toes!.""Once all the testing was out of the way, and the season was approaching fast, the promotion picked up, and the diary was getting busy, so I decided to get a company to help promote me, and manage my diary, which in all helps my sponsors, and british superbikes to hopefully expand in different areas. I have also started working with ClubMSV track and race academy. A new series of trackdays over the uk, which I will be attending to offer advice, experience, rider positioning and a lot more.. The first one is on may the 15th of may at Brands Hatch.Apart from all the other general goings on, i have been trying to get my training in, I always try and do something most days, to be fair not really feeling it after 8 hours of driving sometimes, a cup of rosie, and bed normally. This year I have been trying to pick up my bike fitness doing a lot more trials, mx where I can, cycling on the Trigon and also pushing hard on my new training equipment a Trixter X Dream, from TrixterEU. Great work out especially with the poxy weather recently, I might have to sell mx bike and buy a jet Ski! Or a camel due to the drought, ha!!!" As you may have seen I have been rocking the Black Stig helmet for the first few rounds, while my new design gets finalised, which by now I would say its nearly completed, and i hopefully will be on track at Oulton park wearing it. After Oulton Park round 3, the following week I am doing a Yamaha dealer in Rochdale so come down and say hello if your nearby, also I am attending the Thundersprint in Northwhich, So that should be good fun, I know its always a busy event!. You may also know early in the year I Superbiker launched the new Showdown BSB Film. Not quite a movie star! But the release of the 2012 I Superbiker has now been released and is in shops, so purchased one the other day, and got emotional again, great seeing the different angles from the two teams, sorry I wont say anymore!." Apart from that below is a little summary of the first two rounds… Hope to catch up soon or see you at BSB event soon. Cheers""Round 1 Brands hatch, my local circuit, I suppose in a way I was really looking forward to getting back hear and trying to replicate the race from last year for me and the fans!. leaving there last year and winning the championship in dramatic style, I hardly remember much due to everything happening to fast, so much adrenaline running high, and thousands of people screaming, I suppose to put it mildly it was pretty emotional! So with the clouds coming in, and the weather forecast it wasn't going to be the driest of days. The weekend started good me and the Swan Team topping the timing sheets on day1, when the circuit was dry. As the weekend progressed the weather got worse, and sunday was just a nightmare really. We found a slight issue with the bike, so I was a little eager to race in race 2, but then again it was nearly 5:00pm, and by now I think we all wanted to go home and get in a nice hot bath. So a call was made by msvr race director and race 2 was cancelled."Round 2 Thurxton one of the fastest circuits in the country. Thruxton has always been an abrasive track, and going from the wet session at brands to here, felt like my tyres where made out of superglue!. We qualified on pole which is always a good start to the weekend, and lead most of the free practice sessions. The winds picked up for race day, and its fairly flat around there, so all good fun flying through church at nearly 130-140mph!! Anyway we where holding our own throughout the races leading race one for most of the race until tyre wear got the best of me! We decided it would of been too risky to go for a harder compound for race 2, which the winner from race 1 used. Race 2 we where in a race winning position, and leading on the last few laps, again getting out done on the last lap due to tyre wear! But two solid results overall."
"Hows it going, firstly thanks for checking out my latest blog. As always I like to accumulate some interesting information on what I've been doing before I sit and write a blog!. As we all know the season is now approaching fast, and no doubt about it we will be buying christmas presents again soon. Time is flying past, especially my age, I'd like to say, still one of the youngest in BSB, but I still go into the gym and the machine asks your age, I seem to keep putting in 21! (Riders age) where have those 6 years gone!. There's people reading this saying, stop moaning your still a whipper snapper!!. Trainings been going well, its seems more and more people ask about training nowadays Im pretty sure its because most riders are tweeting about how many miles they've done, pictures of seeds, and fruit! I have to be honest I did tweet a picture of my new energy bar concoction the other day, I was proud. Every year I try to mix up the training, its key to trick your body, and basically shock it into doing something different. I have been doing a fair amount of trials this winter, which is good crack, and yes sometimes get's loose!. Apart from trialling, the usual Cycling, Mountain Biking, Circuits, Pro-Prioception, Running, Intervals trying to get a session in 5-6 times a week…. Im sure none will pay off when I get out on race bike in a few days! The rip snorter. Its always the way, I try to cover most muscle groups with core exercises, but whenever you ride you ache in muscles you never thought you had.Promotional work has been fairly busy, with radio interviews, Magazines, papers etc. I was down at the Stenaline Hawrich the other day, pulling wheelies up and down the port. That was after we spent half hour trying to bump start the R1, before we whipped the seat off and realised there was no battery connected!. Got a right sweat on in my suit.Also I've been doing a fair bit on the design side this winter, with my company Imagedzign. Mainly Companies, riders, teams all wanting to get things sorted for this season, as well as stickers, and the continued work from Queensbury Boxing. As well as designing my own forum, please feel free to start topics, or comment. But will always try to slow it down as I'm now coming into the start of the season, as training, PR, Riding commitments take priority.With testing around the corner, I'm just getting eager to get out and ride now. Especially after dropping my kit of early hours sunday morning, and seeing my bike all ready to rock n roll. I know the boys in the workshop have been pretty busy. I suppose its always a case of relying on people, ticking over in the winter and then before you know it, testing's here and they need parts, and everything else all at once. But I think as a team were as ready as can be. We have a starting point from last season with chassis setup, so its a matter of getting out and getting stuck in with the new controlled ECU.Were heading out to spain at the end of this week, so really peaking about that, I set the bench mark last year with a new lap record at Cartegena, so I've set the bar high!, I suppose it's always nice to know you've done a good time and use as a target. Apart from getting ready for the test, and pre season prep, I have pretty much managed to finalise my partners for 2012, so better give them a mention.KGN Pillinger, Vent-Axia, Shoei, RST, Monster Energy, R&MA Stewart, Vancraft, Proskins, Imagedzign.
http://www.kgnpillinger.co.uk/ http://www.rmastewart.co.uk/ http://www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/van-centres/westyorkshire/ http://www.shoeiassured.co.uk/ http://www.vent-axia.com/ http://www.rst-moto.com/ http://www.imagedzign.com/ http://www.proskins.co/store/en/
Hey thanks for checking out my Blog:
Since the end of the season its been pretty much meetings, proposals, Design work, phone calls, the tuesday after Brands Hatch the phone was ringing for 2012. Which is never a bad thing, but it just seems to come and go. I have been trying to get back into Motorcrossing again, and get dirty during the winter, that is the worst thing about motorsrossing though, the cleaning! now I realise what my dad had to do, when he was washing 3 after each race! Respect. When ever i ride my brain is telling me I can go faster hit the jump quicker, but my body still needs time to take it in, well basically getting the dreaded pump up!!! I just picked up my new Yzf-250 from Dixon Yamaha, all blinging, and shining then after the first session it looked wrecked but all good fun, lets just hope the weather doesn't get to bad!.
Everyone is asking about 2012, what's going on! Well: At this current position, I am waiting on a few things to come back from teams I have been speaking with. I have had a few good talks with WSBK possibilities, but these need to be 100% as I really don't want to go to world Superbike on the back foot, and not make ends meet. This is very important to me, whether its the mechanical side, on making sure I have enough wage, and personal sponsorship from british companies to do the job right. And then on the flip side I suppose BSB try to retain the title, build on relationships, but not take the next step in my career. Lots to think about but I hope will all be put into place in a week or so.
Saturday 19th, Sunday 20th, Monday 21st I will be at the NEC Motorcycle show in Birmingham, working on the Yamaha stand, hold on! this doesn't mean I am riding for Yamaha. I am still contracted to participate at the bike show for Yamaha and for team Swan Yamaha. But even if I had signed another deal it would only seem right to be on the stand and celebrate my championship win with the brand over them few days!!!. So hope to see you all there sometime, please pop over and say hello. I also went back to my old school, Oxted, wow that was an experience. I first met with the whole of year 10 students, and rode down the middle of the hall, revving the tits of the R1, then done a talk to the pupils, as well as a question and answer session. The the same with year 11, but a burnout outside the hall, covering everything in smoke. The care takers where fuming, they said if the fire alarm goes of the fire brigade will be here within 10 minutes, so we had to work out the wind direction, and make sure it blew away from the school. Mega day though, and hope it inspired a few people!.
Its Friday the 18th of November and everyones started to go mad about christmas, before we know it we will be buying decorations in March!. Every shop I go into, there's loads of mad women, "come on we know its the women" dragging there poor old husbands around the shop, asking them if he likes the tinsel and flickering tree lights, No we don't!, but to get out of this shop faster I will agree and say they look lovely! But I suppose when we actually get into December its a nice time of the year. This year me and my partner have decided to put our hands and and invite the whole family over for christmas dinner, and I am going to be the cook!. Looking forward to it actually. I did try and get my mum to do the potatoes, Kate's mum to do the Veg, and we do the Turkey, happy days! that didn't work. So if I don't see anyone or do another blog, all have a good christmas and new year, I will hopefully do a piece on my new signing and new team, when signed up.
All the best
"Well, pre-season test's in spain all done, and all went really well for the whole team, I was impressed with the bike straight away, and as a base setting and basic package we managed to set some pretty impressive times straight out. So basically looking back at the test's that we really just expected to go ride the bike get some data, and go back to the drawing boards and progress from there, but to come away with the fastest time, is a big confidence booster for me, as I know its early days."
"Before I went away to spain testing, I put myself through some fitness test's just to see my current condition, and mainly get my Vo2Max reading. I have another test booked at loughborough University on wednesday, so looking forward to puffing out of my ass again. This isn't just for me, its for my team to see also, as this hopefully will reassure them of my fitness condition."
"I managed to get my MX bike back up and running and had a good ride out a few weeks, back, and again a few days after, you just get the bug back, and want to keep riding. All of the suspension is out now, getting re-valved, as it was set up for a fly weight before, so it should be much better when i get to ride it next. What is good news, is the old MX track 0.5 mile away from my mums and dads is now open again and rebuilt, last time I raced there, I used to do wednesday evening supercross meetings when I was about 7, Just like AMA. Well about 10 times smaller, and loads of screaming motocross dads!."
"Over the past few months we have been finalising designs for Swan Yamaha, I managed to get drafted in to do some touches, and sponsor positioning to the teams graphics, pit boarding, bikes, and race suits. I just got my new suits in from Arleness which look so trick, and fit snug like a fat girls sock. I switched to Arleness a month or so ago, due to the financial position on BKS, Which hit me a fair bit. But to know I have good suits, and good support now from Arleness is a good feeling."
"A week back I went to Bluewater shopping centre, and had to do a speech in front of a sell out 370 crowd to introduce the I superbiker film. I was waiting for them to launch the popcorn at me. But absolutely great reception. Film went down well, Im just hopping that when they release the DVD, i know you normally get a directors cut, or select the ending. Hopefully theres an option to select me winning, and not crashing out!"
"Over the past week or so, I've basically been clocking up some miles on the pushy, done some miles in france also which was lovely. Designing proposals for my brother Jim who is riding in British supersport this year, this hasn't been easy, were still trying to find some support, but times are hard, but we will keep trying. Keeping fairly busy with my designing also (Imagedzign) doing some work with Queensbury boxing league, a few riders logo's really. But to be honest I am needing to be back out on my bike, I think I just go out on my road cycler to pretend im racing, secretly making engine sounds, and imagining im on paddock hill, or flying through druids, no coarse Im not, but looking forward to our next ride at Snetterton on the 12th April."
"Anyways thanks for checking out my blog, catch up soon"
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