It was a case of damage limitation for Peter Hickman at Brands Hatch this weekend when he finished 10th and 14th in round two of the Bennetts British Superbike championship on Sunday.
The short Indy circuit is the most difficult on the race calendar as there are few passing places and a good grid position is essential if the rider is to make any impression on the races.
Hickman was running well in free practice, but when it came to the three-stage qualifying session he found himself down in 11th place in stage one and again in stage two, which meant he didn’t qualify for the shootout for the top grid positions.
He said: “Qualifying didn’t go quite to plan. I put in my personal best time but it was just not fast enough.”
As the first race set off, Hickman made up a place to 13th and by lap 12 had moved up to 11th.
When Richard Cooper crashed ahead of him he was elevated to 10th on lap 21 but was unable to make further progress and crossed the finish line in 10th place to pick up six championship points.
Race two was hard to call as rain clouds threatened.
The race was started and Hicky had just moved up into eighth position when the rain began to fall and the race was halted.
At the re-start it was a gamble on tyre choice in the damp conditions.
Hicky moved up to eighth position at the start but as the rain became more persistent he began to drop back to eventually cross the finish line in 14th place to pick up a further two championship points.
He added: “It’s been another frustrating weekend and whilst our race pace is strong, I just can’t qualify for some reason and it’s really affecting my results in the races as I’m giving myself too much work to do.
“In the first race I struggled in the early laps but eventually got into a good rhythm and 10th place was at least points on the board.
“The changes we made in between races made the bike loads better and I was feeling really good in the early laps before the rain came.
“I’m usually strong in the wet but no matter what we do, we can’t find a good setting with the bike in the wet conditions.
“It’s really frustrating and the results aren’t anywhere near where I should be, so we’ll continue to keep working hard and I’m sure we’ll be rewarded for our efforts soon.”
The next round is at Oulton Park over the May Day Bank Holiday of May 5-7.
Hickman will be competing in the Le Mans 24 hour race in France at the weekend.
He will be competing in the NRT48-BMW Motorrad German factory team alongside Kenny Foray, Lucie Glockner and Stefan Kerschbaumer with the race set to commence at 3pm on April 21st. (2pm BST).