Louth’s Peter Hickman dashed from his hospital bed to race to two podium finishes in British Superbike races at Thruxton on Sunday.
After being in considerable pain following Saturday’s qualifying he found himself drifting in and out of consciousness by the evening, where an ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital at 11pm.
But after being discharged at noon, he rushed to the grid to take his place for race one at 2pm.
“It turns out I have a kidney infection in both kidneys and neither is in a good way,” Hickman said.
“I had a lot of lower back pain and a fever which is not ideal in this heat.
“I was put on a drip and was kept in until midday on Sunday.
“The race went out at 1.30pm so it was a bit of a rush to get back and onto the grid.
“To be honest I didn’t feel so bad, although not 100 per cent by any means.”
However, Hickman put in two great rides to finish second and third, which sees him leap up the rider standings to seventh place on 104 points.
Hickman had completed the first two free practice sessions on pole position on Friday but was feeling under the weather on Saturday for the third session and qualifying.
So much so that he was seventh in the final free practice and just went out for a quick two-lap dash in the first round of qualifying to secure a place in the second round.
Again he just went out for a quick lap but could only manage the 11th fastest lap and was excluded from the final session.
But he had done enough to make it onto the fourth row of the starting grid for Sunday’s first 20-lap race.
Hickman was down in 14th place on the first lap but began to plough through the field, making up positions until he reached seventh place.
He began to reel in the group ahead and on lap 17 of 20 he nipped past both Glenn Irwin and Luke Mossey to take up fifth place.
On the final lap he repeated the pass on Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran, who had both run wide at the club chicane and took third place at the flag.
After a rest to regain his strength, Hickman set off from the second row at the start of race two, settling into fourth place before moving up to third on lap four.
On lap 11 he dived under Jake Dixon at the Club chicane but Leon Haslam made the same move on him on lap 15 demoting him back to third place.
Hickman took his time before once again dispatching Haslam at Club with three laps remaining and pulled clear to chase after Josh Brookes who was holding a two second lead.
Although he tried his best and reduced the gap to 0.3s, Hickman had to be content with second place.
“I only got discharged from hospital at noon, so to be standing on the podium at 2pm was pretty unreal,” Hickman added.
“I was a long way back at the beginning of race one, but I kept chipping away and gradually the front group came back to me.
“I had a bit of luck on the final lap after Josh and Jason came together but we deserved a bit of luck this weekend.
“In the second race, we were battling too much amongst ourselves which allowed Josh to make a break, but I had a good rhythm and got second place.
“We needed a good weekend after a poor start to the season and that’s what we got so to be right back in Showdown contention is just what I wanted.”
Hickman is now only seven points away from a place in the end-of-season showdown and the next round is at his local circuit of Cadwell Park over the weekend of August 17-19.
Meanwhile, Hickman travels to Ireland to race at the Ulster GP road races when the main race days are Thursday and Saturday.