Former MCE British Superbike Champion Tommy Hill has called it a day and pulled the plug on his Yamaha team after making the decision to not put everything he and his family have worked for on the line.
The 2011 king lost title sponsor ePayMe before the end of this season and instead of trying to hobble along on a shoestring in 2017, Hill made the call that if he was unable to find finances to complete the season properly, then he wouldn’t start.
Making this decision was not an easy process. Like most of us motorcycle maniacs, my heart rules my mind when it comes to racing. Unfortunately this isn’t the best cocktail when it comes to running teams,” said Hill.
Retiring from the sport in 2012; I still have the fire in my belly to win and feel I gave my team everything they need to do this. Working with what budget and support we had, many hurdles were thrown in front of me since day one. We showcased one of the best looking teams in the paddock, raised thousands of pounds in sponsorship, secured title, secondary and tertiary sponsors, securing product sponsors from chains to motorhome rental.
“All of which have been massively important to this whole process and hugely appreciated. I feel I have personally tried to accommodate every partner the best I possibly could, with the marketing resources I had available to me with running such a high profile team in its first setup year on a smaller budget compared to the current top teams in BSB. One thing is for sure we were thrown some bad luck along the way, but I felt we should of achieved some better results earlier in the season, but hey this is motorcycle racing!.
I’ve operated most of the day to day jobs myself with this team, such as parts orders, hospitality bookings, promotion, social media, website updates, development, marketing, accounts, graphics, design, sponsorship activation, event setup, garage tours and bike repairs.
“Being so heavily involved this has all made this experience even more rewarding for me to know I have put everything I could of done to make it succeed. Doing all this myself is possibly down to budget saving or me just being a control freak!
“I tried to make sure things were in place for two years with as many of the team’s partners as possible, which shows consistency and a prolonged plan for an ongoing relationship for all of our partners. All in the hope for us to continue in the British Superbike Championship and grow the relationships and improving them a long the way growing our status as a team.
“Thousands of pounds went into the branding and promotion of this team from the start. It was one of the most recognisable and followed teams in the paddock, from team caps to grid trollies, I wanted to make sure our presence was noticed and all of our sponsors were showcased in the best way possible.
“I’ve taken into consideration the personal investment, loans and loss of family time over the past year. After spending the last three months trying to secure a title sponsor without success and one of which is willing to invest the amount required to run a SBK team at high level, it seems only right to draw a line in the sand.
“I would personally not have the balls to risk everything I have and invest it into the team if I didn’t secure the full budget needed. I would be putting my team, riders future and sponsors in jeopardy if I couldn’t see out the season.
There will be lots of people expressing their views on the current situation on teams in BSB, but all I can say is the championship is thriving with supporters, viewing figures are high and I stand by saying its a great marketing platform for any brand to be involved with.”
Hill would like to thank: All of my team this season, William Leaper, John Hopkins, Stuart Easton, Nick Gooodison, Harry harrison, Bob Gray, Tony Serafini, Justin Carey, Mark Beeton, Broc Parkes, Mark Davies, Howie Mainwaring-Smart and My Wife.
To each and everyone who has made this team what it is: ePayMe, Yamaha UK, KGN Pillinger, Imagedzign, ESM, Gemini Controls, Panasonic Business, Beta Tools, Powerbiking Yamaha, Flir Systems, VW Van centre West Yorkshire, B&C Express, Renthal, Lightech, Reactive Parts, Powerbronze, Mi Yamaha, Riccardo, 8 Ball customs, SBS Brake Pads, YMG, YME, Yamalube, Devitt Insurance, Hel Performance, APM Customs, Unibox, Empire RV, GB Racing, Kevin Sergeant, Stuart Higgs, Monster Energy, HM Racing, Xcel Building, OZ Racing, Brembo, Ohlins, Flag Innovations, Clinton Enterprises, Performance Parts, Eventmaker, Foot Print, Dickies, Laura Stevens, Barry Nutely, Paul Musselle, Fred Clarke, Eurosport/ITV, All motorcycle Press, Fans!