The Swan Yamaha team begin their title defence at Brands Hatch in Kent this Easter weekend (6-9 April) as reigning champion Tommy Hill returns to his home circuit, alongside new team-mate Noriyuki Haga, who makes his much-anticipated debut in the MCE Insurance British Superbike Championship.
Hill won the 2011 championship in sensational style at Brands Hatch last October and now he is preparing to get his season off to flying start on Easter Monday, as he becomes the first British MCE BSB champion to defend a title since 2005. Haga makes his race debut with the team this weekend and has already won multiple World Superbike Championship races at the Kent circuit and is now relishing a return to Brands Hatch.
Hill said: “I am looking forward to getting back to Brands Hatch as I have such great memories of the last time I raced there when we won the title. We want to pick up where we left off last year as it is key to come away from the first rounds with some strong finishes so we can carry the momentum to the next round. We have been feeling positive after pre-season testing, but it will come down to Easter Monday when the racing really starts. We have a few things to get dialled out with the Swan Yamaha on Good Friday in the extra test sessions but we are going to come out fighting in the races!”
Haga said: “I like Brands Hatch; I have never raced on the Indy circuit but this won’t be a problem as I know the rest of the track very well from World Superbike. I have in the past had lots of fans there at the track so I hope that they come and support me again. We have a good setting with the Swan Yamaha after our pre-season testing and like everyone I want to win. This is a new challenge for me with different circuits and different riders and I will be trying very hard to get results. I will be giving one hundred percent and for sure I will go for it in the races!”
Team Owner Shaun Muir concluded: “The whole of the Swan Yamaha team are really fired up for the first round at Brands Hatch this weekend. As Tommy said, the last time we raced at the circuit we ended up by leaving with the team’s biggest achievement to date – the title. Now we have Tommy back to defend his number one plate and Noriyuki lining up for his first full season in the championship; this is an exciting prospect for everyone involved and we intend to deliver again.”