Tough weekend for Hickman and Laverty in British Superbikes in Assen

Peter Hickman in action at Assen. Photo: Dave Yeomans
Peter Hickman in action at Assen. Photo: Dave Yeomans

IT all went wrong for Louth racer Peter Hickman on his visit to Assen in Holland for round 10 of the MCE British Superbike championship at the weekend.

Hickman was forced out of race one with a mechanical problem and struggled for grip in the second race to finish a distant 16th just outside a point scoring position.

Having never ridden at Assen before it was always going to be an uphill struggle for Hicky who had to learn his way around the Dutch circuit before being able to post a fast lap time. But he persevered and completed his free practice well within the top 20.

Qualifying went equally well for Hickman and he made it through to the final session of 10 riders with ease. But in final session the rain fell, preventing him from bettering his lap times and he ending the session in 10th place.

Starting the first 18 lap race from the third row Hicky got a dreadful start and was pushed back down to 19th on the first lap. But he got his head down and began to make progress through the field moving up to 15th at the midway stage of the race.

But the Buildbase BMW Motorrad developed an engine problem which caused him to drop back and eventually retire at turn one on lap 13.

The second race began in much the same way with Hicky starting from row five and dropping a couple of places to 21st on the opening lap.

Again he began a fight back and was up to 16th on lap six before once again the problems came. This time with tyre wear which caused him to ease off the pace and gradually drop back on time.

But he managed to keep the bike upright and brought it home in 16th place, although unfortunately just outside a points scoring position.

Going into the penultimate round of the series Hicky is in 19th place in the overall rider standings on 42 points.

Meanwhile Michael Laverty, racing for Louth-based Samsung Honda, took a brace of seventh places.

Laverty dropped to fifth in the overall standings after struggling to find the best setting for the tyre longevity and despite hitting the front of the field in the early stages of both races, later dropped down the order in each outing.

Team mate Jon Kirkham endured more disappointment after having shown good form in recent rounds. A bad start in the first race was difficult to recover from, scoring 13th at the line and in the second race he was forced to retire with a mechanical problem.

Laverty said: “That was a horrible day for me that had promised so much – coming at the start of the showdown this is my worst day of the season.

“That has put me on the back foot and I have to come back strongly at Silverstone – it has been so frustrating as I couldn’t get the result that I wanted.”

The next round is at Silverstone this weekend, (September 30) when Hickman and the Samsung Honda Team will be looking for two strong results as the championship heads to Brands Hatch in October for the season finale.