A double podium by defending champion Tommy Hill ended the 2012 MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship on a high note for Swan Yamaha, the team sponsored by tyre manufacturer Maxxis. The result meant Hill finished in overall third as Shane 'Shakey' Byrne (Rapid Solicitors Kawasaki) won all three races to lift the title for the third time.
Hill's seven wins during the main season, coupled with five second place finishes and four thirds, netted him a massive 35 podium credits and he was leading the field going into the Showdown - the final three rounds of the series during which the top six riders fight it out for the honours. However, as Swan Yamaha struggled with grip at the first two events at the Assen TT Circuit in the Netherlands and Silverstone, WFR Honda's Alex Lowes, Byrne and Josh Brookes (Tyko Suzuki) made up ground and seized the advantage, leaving the 2011 champion in third going into the season finale.
Tens of thousands of motorcycle sports fans turned out for the triple header at Brands Hatch where Hill was on form and back on the podium. Finishing second behind Byrne in the opening race Tommy then rounded off his impressive season-long performance, in which he also set six fastest laps - finishing only two adrift of Brookes in the 2012 Speedy Fastest Laps League - with a third place. Tommy's strong starts throughout 2012 also netted him his first STIHL Power Award.
Swan Yamaha team mate Noriyuki Haga missed the Showdown due to injury, but he was keen to string together some good results to close out the season and fifth and sixth place in Assen plus three top ten finishes at Brands Hatch put him in eighth overall in the 2012 British Superbike standings.
"The determination shown by Tommy and the entire Swan Yamaha team as they set about the defence of his title, scoring points at every round of the main season, really impressed us, and while back-to-back titles would have been tremendous, we are by no means disappointed in the first year of our partnership," said Maxxis International UK's managing director Derek McMartin.
"The team's excellent results, coupled with the fact that the British Superbike Championship benefits from extensive mainstream TV coverage, means our sponsorship of Swan Yamaha has played a vital role in helping to improve brand awareness for Maxxis and we are looking forward to an even more exciting 2013."
Maxxis tyres are available from the UK's largest tyre distributor, Stapleton's Tyre Services. For further information contact Stapleton's on 0870 60 54321 or visit www.stapletons-tyres.co.uk.