British Superbikes: Dutch disappointment for Louth rider Hickman

Peter Hickman in Assen EMN-160310-110742002

Peter Hickman in Assen EMN-160310-110742002

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It wasn’t the best of weekends for Peter Hickman at the Cathedral of Speed last weekend in the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike Championship.

The Louth rider’s bike suffered a technical problem during qualifying at Assen, in the Netherlands, setting the tone for the two races which he completed in 16th and 14th place.

Throughout free practice the bike was not running quite as well as expected, and then on the first flying lap of qualifying on Saturday, it stopped altogether, leaving Hicky to sit out the session down in 20th.

Whatever was wrong appeared to have been rectified as Hicky went fourth quickest in morning warm-up.

But it didn’t all go to plan despite a good start in the first 18-lap affair from the seventh row as he was unable to keep the pace of the front runners and finished 16th.

Starting race two from an improved grid position of row five, Hicky was soon up into 13th and fighting for position within a large group of riders.

He made it up to 14th on lap eight and on lap 11 was elevated to 12th, but the pace was hot and he was eventually beaten back to 15th.

On the final lap he made a pass on John Hopkins and made it stick to cross the finish line in 14th for two championship points.

“It’s been the worst weekend of the year for me really,” Hickman said. “The problem in qualifying really hampered us; everyone is so, so fast this year you just can’t make your way forward.

“Warm-up was great and I felt really positive for race one, but unfortunately I just didn’t have the same grip from the rear in the race which meant we were unable to improve our grid spot much for race two.

“The team has worked so hard and leaving here with two points isn’t really what we want or where we should be!”

The results saw Hickman lose his lead in the Riders Cup and dropped down to ninth overall on 188 points, and third in the Riders Cup, nine points behind leader Michael Laverty.

The final round is at Brands Hatch over the weekend of October 14 to 16 with three races and 75 points up for grabs.