British Superbikes: Hickman frustrated at Brands Hatch

Peter Hickman had to settle for two 11th-place finishes at Brands Hatch EMN-160808-095352002
Peter Hickman had to settle for two 11th-place finishes at Brands Hatch EMN-160808-095352002

Louth racer Peter Hickman was hoping for a change of fortune at Brands Hatch as the MCE British Superbike Championship entered the second half of the season.

But technical issues and tyre problems meant Hicky could only secure a brace of 11th places in round seven on Sunday.

The JG Speedfit Kawasaki team worked tirelessly ahead of the meet and Hickman was confident of a better showing as they continued to work through practice with new components and settings.

Making steps forward with each of the three free practice sessions, he made it through to the second stage of qualifying to secure 12th place on the grid for race one.

But Hicky was unable to make progress and circulated in 14th position until lap 14 when he made the move up to 13th.

On lap 17 he passed Michael Laverty and on the 20th and final lap took advantage of Tommy Bridewell’s retirement to secure 11th place at the flag.

Starting the second race from the fifth row, Hickman was unable to make much headway in the early laps. At the halfway stage he made it through to 12th and held the position during the safety car period.

Two laps were added and on lap 20 Hicky passed Broc Parkes to move into 11th place where he remained until the finish to pick up another five championship points, bringing his total haul to 106 to retain his 10th place in the standings.

“This was definitely one of our weakest rounds of the year, which is a real shame,” he said. “It was certainly a big learning curve.

“We tried something for race two, but it didn’t really work and we just can’t seem to make use of the bike on a new tyre.

“But we’re still not a million miles away from the Showdown and Cadwell is one of my favourite rounds so I’m confident we’ll be back in the mix over the bank holiday weekend.”

The next round is at Hicky’s home circuit of Cadwell Park from August 27 to 29, but this week he competes at the Ulster GP road races, the scene of his maiden road victory last year in the Superbike race.

This time he rides the JG Speedfit Kawasaki in the Superbike and Superstock races, and the Iron Maiden Trooper Beer Kawasaki in the Supersport event.