Home advantage paid off for Louth rider Peter Hickman when he scored a pair of second places as the MCE British Superbike championship came to Cadwell Park on Sunday.
Hicky had run well all weekend and was never out of the top 10 during free practice, but a crash in the third session left him battered and bruised and with a painful leg injury. This left the RAF Reserves/Lee Hardy Racing team with a massive job to do to get the BMW up and running in time for qualifying later on Saturday.
The 28-year-old sailed through to the final stage of qualifying, to book a fifth place start on the second row for race one.
After a good start, Hickman weaved his way up to third place, chasing Luke Mossey and race leader Josh Brookes. The trio were in close company throughout the first eight laps.
Hicky passed Mossey just before the safety car came out for a crash at the mountain top involving Danny Buchan, and when the car left the circuit two laps later Hicky upped his pace and maintained his position to the chequered flag.
Starting the second encounter from the front row, the Louth rider once again slotted into third and held station for the first six laps, but on the next he overtook Mossey.
Tom Bridewell steadily made inroads towards him and on lap 12 Hicky came under pressure. Bridewell relegated him to third one lap later, but Hickman would not give up without a fight.
He dived under Bridewell at Mansfield to snatch back the position and held him off to cross the finish line for another runner-up spot.
Hickman said: “We didn’t have the course car out this time and to be quite honest I could have done with the rest!
“But the RAF Reserves BMW has been working mega. I made a bit of a mistake which let Tom through. His bike is a little bit faster than mine as it’s the official BMW, but I sat behind him for a few laps and saw where he was weaker and then on the last lap I went for it.
“A massive thanks to everyone, all my personal sponsors, Lee Hardy and the RAF Reserves team who have been brilliant all weekend.”
Hickman collected 40 championship points to move up to 12th in the rider standings on 87 points.
He headed straight off to catch a ferry to the Isle of Man to begin practice for the Classic races.
The British Superbike championship heads to Oulton Park, in Cheshire, for round nine over the weekend of September 4-6 for three races.