British Superbikes: Peter Hickman moves into Showdown spot

Peter Hickman. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Peter Hickman. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

Despite still feeling below-par, Louth racer Peter Hickman recorded two top-seven finishes on his home track of Cadwell Park last weekend.

Hickman had not shaken off the effects of a severe kidney infection, but a seventh and fourth places in his two British Superbike races moved him up into the top-six in the overall standings.

The Lincolnshire rider was never out of the top 10 during free practice and qualifying and made it through to the final stage of qualifying to bag a third row start to the first 18-lap race.

After resting overnight to gain strength, Hickman began the first race in seventh and remained there throughout the race to pick up nine championship points.

The course car halted the action for a few laps, giving Hickman a chance to rest mid-race and because his closest rival crashed out, he scored enough points to move up to sixth overall in the race for a place in the end-of-season title Showdown.

Hickman was soon up into fifth place in race two and, despite lacking strength, managed to pass Glenn Irwin to move into fourth.

He held station through the second half to cross the finish line and pick 13 more championship points.

He finished the race well ahead of closest rival Danny Buchan and extended his lead over him to seven points.

“It’s been a pretty good weekend,” Hickman said. “And although we’re still struggling a bit with grip, and I’m still a long way short of being at full fitness, fourth and seventh place finishes are a pretty good set of results especially as I’ve moved into one of the Showdown positions.

“Race one wasn’t too bad as the safety car period gave me a bit of a breather, but the second felt more like two races and at half-race distance I was beginning to flag a little.”

The three-week gap before the next round at Silverstone, from September 7 to 9, will give Hickman the chance to rest up and try to shake off the debilitating infection which is draining all his strength.

Silverstone is a circuit he usually goes well at, and he will need all his strength to maintain his position in the top six.

There are three races to contest and at the end of the meeting, the top six riders will go through to the Showdown over the final three rounds to race for the title.