British Superbikes: Peter Hickman wins Riders Cup

Peter Hickman who recorded a win and a third place at Brands Hatch to secure the overall Riders Cup EMN-161017-111304002

Peter Hickman who recorded a win and a third place at Brands Hatch to secure the overall Riders Cup EMN-161017-111304002

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Peter Hickman recorded a win and a third place finish in two of the three races at Brands Hatch to secure the Riders Cup.

The Louth rider started the weekend in ninth but a stunning final round at the Kent circuit elevated him to seventh in the final standings of the British Superbikes Championship.

Peter Hickman enjoyed his best round of the season at Brands Hatch EMN-161017-122135002

Peter Hickman enjoyed his best round of the season at Brands Hatch EMN-161017-122135002

The Riders Cup is awarded to the best rider outside of the top six.

“I’m absolutely over the moon to get the Riders Cup,” he said. “It’s been a really strong season for us.

“After narrowly missing out on the Showdown, my goal was to win the cup, so it’s mega to be leaving here with it.

“We’ve scored well over 200 points in the championship, which is the first time I’ve ever done that, so massive thanks to the whole JG Speedfit Kawasaki team for giving me a package I can win races on – particularly in such a tough year.

Peter Hickman toasts the Riders Cup on the Brands Hatch podium EMN-161017-122148002

Peter Hickman toasts the Riders Cup on the Brands Hatch podium EMN-161017-122148002

“Hopefully we can come back next year and go even better.”

After qualifying in 11th, Hicky began the first of three races at the season finale from a fourth row grid position and was circulating in 11th place when the red flag halted the race.

After a long delay the race was re-started, only to fall foul of the red flag again as rain began to fall.

Finally the race was re-started to run over 15 laps in wet conditions, and Hickman made a flyer, taking the lead on lap three, before his team-mate James Ellison took over.

But Ellison fell on lap six, leaving Hickman in the clear. Even then the race was slowed behind the course car for a few laps, giving the rest of the field a chance to catch up.

But once the car left the track Hickman took control and picked up maximum points.

He began race two from the middle of the front row and remained in fourth for most of the race.

But when Christian Iddon pulled out with a problem, Hickman was gifted third place which he held with ease.

Race three was run in dry conditions with Hickman running in fifth place when, once again, the red flag was waved.

After a lengthy delay the race was re-started over the shorter 10-lap distance, but once his tyre lost grip he was forced to slow and concentrate on bringing the bike home in one piece, crossing the line in 11th.

“James Ellison wanted to use a different tyre at the restart but his tyre had not been prepared,” Hickman added.

“Knowing third place in the championship was at stake for him I offered him my tyre.

“I explained that I had already won the Riders Cup so it didn’t really matter and he went out and won the race and took third place in the championship.

“Of course I was using my old tyre and it wasn’t long before it showed signs of wear.”

This unselfish act which denied Hicky a possible podium finish was relayed by Ellison who thanked him publicly on the podium in the TV interview.

Hicky will not be resting on his labels as he looks to defend his Macau GP title next month.