Burning Rubber

Up Hill struggle has paid off for Michael

Up Hill struggle has paid off for Michael

Michael Hill is to make his racing comeback at his home round next month, after docs gave him the go-ahead last week.

The Norton-born British 125cc rider looked likely to miss the remainder of the season after smashing two vertebrae in a horrific crash at Snetterton in May.

After being released from hospital last month, Hill has been wearing a body brace and embarking on gruelling physio sessions in a bid to be deemed fit enough to get back on a bike before season end in October.

And last week he was given the green light to ride again, and will make his return at the Croft round of the championship on August 12.

"I'm over the moon that I'm going to be able to race again so soon, and to be able to come back for my home round at Croft is the best news I think I could've had," a relieved Hill told Burning Rubber last night.

"I told myself Croft was what I wanted to do, but there were some times when it seemed unlikely. To find out I will be fit enough to ride after all is just amazing news and I'm really excited."

Although he may be fit to compete, the rider - who is better known in racing circle as Guapo - admits that he will be using Croft and the other rounds which follow, as practice ahead of next season.

"I'm not going to be in a position where I can win races if I'm honest, so I plan to use Croft and the following three rounds as a chance to get fully race fit for next year.

In between resting up and hitting the gym, Guapo still managed to get to his feet to undertake his now annual role of hosting the main stage at the Day of Champions at last month's MotoGP at Donington Park.


Bad decision?

Jason Plato could find the bizarre decision to hand team-mate Darren Turner the race win at Croft last month has cost him his second British Touring Car Championship crown.

The 39-year-old honorary Geordie has slipped to a point behind VX Racing's Fabrizio Giovanardi, but with what is likely to be the SEAT squad's worst round looming at Donington Park next weekend, it looks like he could soon live to regret allowing his team-mate to take his maiden win.

But after a poor weekend at Oulton where Plato lost his title lead for the first time this season, he heads to Donington next week, a track the team struggled with last year.

"As a team we must bear in mind that on paper Donington is our Achilles heel," he said last week. "However this is the BTCC and anything can happen."


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