Ulster GP: Peter Hickman grabs podium finish

All did not go quite to plan for Peter Hickman in Ulster EMN-160815-173920002
All did not go quite to plan for Peter Hickman in Ulster EMN-160815-173920002
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Louth racer Peter Hickman had a mixed bag of results at the Ulster GP on Saturday despite landing a prized podium spot.

Hickman showed much promise and rode the Iron Maiden Trooper Beer Kawasaki to seventh and third-place finishes in the Supersport races, but elsewhere was left frustrated by bike problems and a red flag.

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Hicky led the Superstock race early on after qualifying in a third row start, but the GB MOTO Kawasaki suffered a puncture forcing his retirement after three laps.

The Lincolnshire rider qualified ninth for the first Supersport race despite only a handful of rides aboard the 600cc Kawasaki.

Soon getting to grips with the bike, Hickman was running in seventh behind Michael Dunlop and about to make a move when the red flag ended the race on lap five.

Hickman ended up third in Superbike qualifying for a front row start to the two races, and as the lights he took the lead.

The Louth racer was relegated to third by the end of lap one, but posted the fastest lap of the race on lap three with a 3min 18.996secs as the top four riders pulled clear of the pack.

With just 0.6 seconds separating the four riders, and Hicky looking certain of a podium position, engine failure forced him out at the end of lap five.

The action was again close in the second Supersport race with the top seven covered by just 1.2 seconds.

On lap four Hicky was up to fifth and then caught and passed Dean Harrison on the run to Deer’s Leap a lap later. He then caught Bruce Anstey but couldn’t make the pass stick and it was all down to the hairpin on the last lap.

As they emerged, Hicky was ahead of Anstey and held his position to the chequered flag to take third place.

“It was nice to get a podium after the bad luck in the previous races,” he said.

“We could have been on the podium in all the races before then, but we had a few problems unfortunately.

“The Trooper Kawasaki worked well for me and to give the boys something back after such a tough day is mega.

“The little Kawasaki lacks a bit of punch and with me being over six foot doesn’t really help! But once I got into my stride I was able to run with the front boys and put the Beast on the podium.”

Because of the lack of time to fit a new engine, Hicky was forced to use the heavier and slower Superstock bike for the final Superbike race.

He lay third on the first lap, but the faster Superbikes soon got past him and he eventually settled into a lonely seventh place.

The next outing for the Lincolnshire rider is on home tarmac at Cadwell Park over the Bank Holiday weekend of August 27 to 29 when Hicky will be hoping the JG Speedfit Kawasaki can move him nearer to the top six and the shoot-out.