British Superbikes: Louth rider Peter Hickman consolidates top six spot

Peter Hickman recorded a brace of fourths at Brands. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Peter Hickman recorded a brace of fourths at Brands. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

Louth racer Peter Hickman boosted his end-of-season title shootout hopes with a brace of fourth-places at Brands Hatch in the MCE British Superbike Championship on Sunday.

The results were enough for him to retain his top six position in the rider standings on 119 points after six rounds.

Hicky was never out of the top five during free practice and qualifying, beginning the first 20-lap race from the head of the second row.

He maintained his fourth position through the first four laps before the safety car was deployed to clear a crash.

Once the car left the track there was some frantic action at the front of the field and Hicky shot up the inside of Josh Brooks at Paddock Hill on lap nine.

One lap later he passed Luke Mossey to take second place, latching onto the back of race leader Dan Linfoot.

He passed Linfoot on lap 11 and held the lead for the next five laps before his rival managed to make a pass and reclaim his lead.

By this time the top four had pulled a gap on the pursuing pack and Shane Byrne was intent on taking the win.

He passed Hickman on lap 17 and, one lap later, former team-mate Leon Haslam demoted Hicky to fourth.

Although he was very close to Haslam and lining him up for a pass, the race was brought to a sudden end when leader Byrne put his hand up to request a red flag for rain.

The race result was declared at positions on lap 18 and Hicky was awarded fourth place.

Starting the second race from the third row, Hickman was quick to move forward and passed Haslam for fourth place on lap 12 of 20.

He began to reel in Christian Iddon but sadly ran out of laps and had to be content with fourth place once again.

Hickman said: “I’ve felt really strong all weekend, although I was gutted to have missed out on a podium in the first race.

“I really felt we deserved a top-three finish, but the race ending prematurely put paid to that, although we did have the consolation of some solid points.

“My grid position for race two held me back a bit, but I got stuck in from the start and put some good passes in, although I didn’t quite have the pace to catch Ellison and Iddon.

“I’m trying really hard to get up to fourth in the championship to give myself a bit of a buffer, but I’ve strengthened my hold on sixth place.

“I’m really happy with the weekend and with the bike and delighted for the Smiths Racing team, so roll on Thruxton.”

The next round is at Thruxton from August 4 to 6.