MOTORCYCLING: Hickman claims valuable points despite being battered and bruised

Peter Hickman at Brands Hatch. Photo: Dave Yeomans EMN-150420-100114001
Peter Hickman at Brands Hatch. Photo: Dave Yeomans EMN-150420-100114001

Peter Hickman fought through the pain barrier at Brands Hatch on Sunday when, after suffering a heavy crash in the opening MCE British Superbike Championship race, he claimed two hard earned points in the second to maintain a top eight position in the early Championship table.

Having qualified in 22nd place for the opening race, Peter posted his best lap of the weekend in the morning warm-up so was feeling optimistic coming into the race, which was held in cool, overcast conditions.

A good start saw him immediately jump up to 15th at the completion of the opening lap. He continued to move forward and by two-thirds race distance he was up to 10th and looking good for an excellent result.

However, having just moved up to ninth it all went wrong on the 25th lap when he crashed out heavily at Clearways, his race coming to an abrupt and painful end.

Fortunately, nothing was broken and although feeling second hand, he was able to take his place on the grid for the second encounter later in the day where he started from the higher start position of 13th. He was soon up to 11th but towards the end of the race, he got pushed wide going into the first corner and within a split second, he’d been relegated to 14th, which was where he finished adding two hard earned points to his Championship total.

He said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better start to race one and, after struggling all weekend, I was lapping faster in the race than what I had done in qualifying. I was soon up inside the top 15 and kept chipping away, moving forward all the time and was looking comfortable in ninth.

“Towards the end of the race, the group behind started to close up a little so I decided to push on a bit but only managed to do that for three-quarters of the lap when I had a massive highside at Clearways. It was probably the biggest of my career and both the bike and myself were left pretty battered.

“The team did an awesome job in getting the bike ready for the second race and it felt exactly the same as what it did before but I was a little bit cautious and felt disappointed to have ended up 14th after running in 11th for much of the race.

“We’ve made good progress with the bike this weekend though and have learnt more here than what we did at Donington, where we were quite lucky to have found a setting that worked, so have a good direction and base setting now from what we can work from.”

The next round is at Oulton Park in Cheshire over the May Day weekend of May 2-4 when Hicky will have had two weeks to recover from his bruises received at Brands Hatch.