MACARTHUR motorcyclist Lachlan Hill has iced his maiden national championship with a near-flawless weekend on the bike.
The 38-year-old is this week celebrating a breakthrough victory in the 2012 Australian Superlites Championship after clinching the five-round series.
Hill qualified fastest and won all three of his 125cc superlites races in round four at Phillip Island on the weekend, earning him a maximum 76 points.
The performance took his series total to 286, 79 ahead of his nearest rival, New South Welshman Zac Zanesco.
He is far enough ahead that he does not have to contest the final round, to be held in Brisbane on September 14 to 16, but will do so anyway.
Hill said he was proud to own an Australian title. The veteran rider is a former Victorian champion but had never committed himself to the travel and financial demands required for national competition.
“It’s pretty amazing. In the back of my mind I knew it was possible, but you’ve got to have a lot of things go your way,” Hill said.
“Me, on a Yamaha — a Yamaha wouldn’t have ever won it before as far as I know. The bike is not meant to be the best bike in the field.
“We’ve done it through reliability. Everyone else had DNFs (did not finish), crashes and breakdowns.”
Hill said changing weather and engine problems meant he was not confident of wrapping up the title at Phillip Island.
“In between every race we had the engine apart trying to keep on top of it,” he said.
But he easily won the first race, surged late to beat West Australian Tom Hatton in the second and cruised to victory in the third.
Hatton, who started the weekend second in the series, failed to finish the third race, an outcome which confirmed Hill as the champion.
“I didn’t even see him on the track. I found out he didn’t finish the race and that gave us enough points. I knew I had the championship,” Hill said.
Hill said he had fielded offers to step up to a more powerful 250cc Moto3 bike but was unsure of his next move. He said he was considering riding in an Australian classics series with a 1975 Yamaha TZ350 he is restoring.
“The classic racing in Australia is really strong at the moment. They have a few international meetings,” he said.
“There are a couple of one-off race meetings, one at Phillip Island and one at Eastern Creek, huge meetings. That is another option to get on an international level.”
Hill thanked his 14-year-old mechanic Mitch Jackson and sponsors who were instrumental in the title win.
He will contest the series final at Brisbane before turning his focus to the three-round Victorian series, which he leads with one round to go, in October.