Swan Yamaha's Tommy Hill is facing a race against the clock to get out of this weekend's Oulton Park British Superbike round in time to get a flight out to Japan to make his first test session for Suzuka Eight-Hours.
The reigning champion has to be on a plane at Manchester at 7.30pm on Sunday to make his connecting flight in Paris which will take him to Tokyo. He will then take another plane to the track in order to commence testing on Tuesday.
"It's going to be tight, given how much traffic goes out of Oulton on Sunday night. I might steal Jonathan Palmer's helicopter, I'm sure Pete (Jennings, Hill's crew chief) can work the electronics while I do some steering," said Hill, speaking to bikesportnews.com this afternoon.
"I'm looking forward to it. I've got Suzuka to myself pretty much, so it will be a case of learning the Michelin tyres and the track. I've had a look on Gran Turismo but there's no substitute for being there. It's a busy old time with promotional work when I come back, but it's all good."