British Superbikes: Louth’s Peter Hickman ends season in ninth

Peter Hickman at Brands Hatch EMN-151019-094003002
Peter Hickman at Brands Hatch EMN-151019-094003002

Peter Hickman just missed out on the Rider’s Cup at the season finale of the MCE British Superbike championship last weekend.

The Louth rider recorded two 12th-place finishes before crossing the line 11th in the final race at Brands Hatch.

Luke Mossey won the BSB Rider’s Cup - awarded to the seventh-placed rider, the best of those who failed to reach the top six shoot-out – as Hickman finished an agonising 18 points adrift in ninth.

He said: “It’s not how we wanted to finish the season as, obviously, we had high hopes of taking the BSB Rider’s Cup this weekend but we’ve ultimately come up just short.”

Hickman looked like he’d done enough to reach the final stages of qualifying, but he was bumped back to 11th and had to start Saturday afternoon’s race from the middle of the fourth row.

The 28-year-old made a good start to the first 20-lap race, but then got held up at the second corner and lost several places to lie 12th at the end of the lap.

On lap seven he overhauled Billy McConnell, but by then the group ahead had broken away, and Tommy Bridewell passed Hickman on the final lap to finish 12th at the flag.

Peter Hickman: “I made a good start, but nearly hit Jakub Smrz at the second corner and I lost about four places so it gave me work to do.

“I went with the harder tyre as I thought it would put me in good stead for the second half of the race but the opposite happened and I really struggled for grip.”

Hickman started from the sixth row for the first Sunday race, as he looked to close the gap to Mossey in the race for the cup. He started well once more, but was pushed wide by Christian Iddon at the second corner to drop out of the top 20.

Facing an uphill battle, Hickman fought throughout and consistently moved his way through the field. He was running inside the points by lap seven and was ultimately rewarded with another 12th-place finish.

The Louth rider went into the final race of the season 13 points adrift of Mossey who was able to run in the top six for most of the race while Hickman found himself just outside the top 10.

In one of the races of the season, just a handful of seconds covered the leading dozen riders as they ran near identical lap times, but Hickman had to settle for 11th at the chequered flag, just seven seconds adrift of the winner.

Hickman added: “Getting punted wide in today’s first race hurt me hard and I’ve struggled for grip in all three races so it’s been tough going.

“Overall though, we’ve had a good season and can be pleased with what we’ve achieved despite having some bad luck along the way.

“Taking three podiums, and in the dry, was the undoubted highlight and I feel like I’ve ridden well all year so a big thanks to the whole team for all their support.”

* Hickman has one more outing with the team on November 17-19 when he competes for a second time at the Macau Grand Prix.