LOUTH Superbike racer Peter Hickman got his championship challenge underway with a strong points finish in round two of the 2012 MCE British Superbike championship at Thruxton on Sunday.
Hicky enjoyed a good qualifying session, improving the set-up of his Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R throughout the sessions to finish 12th, only edged out of the final qualifying session in the dying seconds of second qualifying by Brands Hatch race winner, Jon Kirkham and a hard charging Patric Muff.
As race one got underway Hickman didn’t get the good start that he so desperately wanted but was picking his way through the midfielders until he was forced to retire the MSS Bathams Kawasaki into the pits with tyre issues.
He explained: “I opted to go with the softer SC1 rear tyre compound but it didn’t last full distance and I had to pull in at the end of lap 16. I will go with a harder compound tyre for race two and see how we go.”
Hicky began the second encounter from 18th on the grid and worked hard, putting in some classy manoeuvres at the club chicane to move his way forward and finish in a determined 12th place to kick start his 2012 campaign and get some points on the scoreboard.
“It was a tough weekend and we’re still learning the bike. It’s a great bike, but it’s also quite finicky and only works in a small window that we’re only just really starting to discover.
“This weekend was the most comfortable I’ve been on the bike since I signed for MSS Bathams Kawasaki, so we’re going in the right direction. Full credit to the team, I’ve kept them busy with making changes and it’s starting to pay off now. Twelfth isn’t where I want to be but it’s a step in the right direction and I’m feeling happier and a lot more confident heading to Oulton Park.”
The next round is at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the May Day Bank Holiday of May 5/6/7.
See a list of events at www.mceinsurance.com/clubmce/events