Former British Superbike Champion Tommy Hill, has spoke of his delight at seeing his new team finally getting out on the tarmac for the first time ahead of the 2016 season.
Hill has put together a very strong package for an assault on the British Superbike Championship this season, the Yamaha YZF-R1 already has a BSB title to it’s name and along with former MotoGP racer John Hopkins and proven BSB contender Stuart Easton as his riding duo the ePayMe team look like they could be a tough one to beat.
The 2011 champion has made a return to Yamaha machinery after running a team of Kawasaki’s for part of last season and after what he says has been a difficult period over winter he’s overwhelmed with the progress testing in Cartagena.
“I am absolutely over the moon with how this first test has gone for the ePayMe Yamaha team. It is quite overwhelming for me as there have been months of a lot of hard work that have gone into making this happen and I think the guys can see that.” Hill said.
“For us it is always about moving forward; yes I am a racer and people still ask me why I don’t get back on a bike and race again but I have put that drive and passion into my team. This is something that I have put together from scratch and if we went back to before November I didn’t have a single nut or bolt and so to have two bikes on track with both of the guys doing what they have here, and the team working so well together is really overwhelming.”
Both riders were also pleased with the progress made on their first outings for their new team over the four day test in Spain with Hopkins in particular very pleased with the bike’s ability to run consistently even on used tyres.
“I feel even happier at the end of this test than I did when I first rode the new Yamaha. Honestly I am absolutely over the moon with everything really; the mindset coming into this test was never to go out and get some crazy outright lap time and the focus has purely been on getting accustomed to the bike and getting a good feel for the bike.
“I think this is one time in my career where we have spent the majority of the test on used tyres, which makes it even more positive. We have been able to do a lap time then stay doing consistent lap times that are strongly competitive from what I have seen on used tyres which is a huge bonus.”
Easton however admits he has taken a little more time to adjust to the new machinery but is now happy that the bike is more like his own and is looking forward to the season opener in a month’s time.
“Initially I didn’t feel comfortable at all but with each session I was getting more comfortable and made some changes along the way. We haven’t gone too far from the settings that we know worked with the Yamaha last year and it is for me now to adapt to the package.” Easton said.
“I know my times haven’t been as fast but the feeling is getting there now. Pre-test I wasn’t overly worried about the lap times as everyone can get a bit excited; although I want to be respectable but my main focus was to be comfortable heading into the first round of the season at Silverstone.”