Hicky records two top-10 finishes at Oulton Park

Peter Hickman. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

Peter Hickman. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

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Peter Hickman recorded fifth and seventh-place finishes at Oulton Park in round three of the MCE British Superbike championship.

But such is the closeness of the championship that he has dropped two places in the rider standings to eighth, on 57 points.

Starting the first 18-lap affair from the third row, Hicky got away well at the start and was soon up to seventh place, battling it out in a large group of riders.

When Glenn Irwin made a slight mistake on lap 12, Hickman took the advantage and nipped past into sixth place, and two laps later he passed both Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran to settle into fourth.

Too far back to make any impression on the leaders, Hickman was happy to settle for a safe fourth place but didn’t realise O’Halloran was right on his tail.

The Honda Racing rider caught and passed him on the final corner and snatched fourth place away from him, leaving Hickman to take fifth at the flag.

Once again placed on the third row, the 30-year-old rider didn’t get the best of starts to the second encounter and settled in seventh place within a large group of riders.

The action was very close and eventually Hicky was relegated back to ninth.

But with four laps remaining two of the leading riders crashed out of the race and he was promoted to seventh where he stayed to the chequered flag.

He said: “Fifth was a good result in the first race, but I was a bit disappointed to have left the door open on the last corner.

“Normally you can hear the bikes behind you, but on this occasion I couldn’t, so I thought I had a safe fourth.

“I was a bit annoyed but top five was still a good outcome and we made further improvements to the bike for race two, although I again made an average start.

“I had the pace to finish on the podium but all of the riders in the group were lapping at a similar pace so it was difficult to pass and then hold onto the position if you had made a pass.

“I got bullied a bit and made a couple of mistakes so rolled off a bit to bring the bike home, although it was a bonus to pick up a couple of places due to other riders crashing.”

This year the championship is very close and, as a consequence, Hickman finds himself outside the top six in eighth place on 57 points, but just two points away from the top six.

The championship now has a break of six weeks to allow for the North West 200 and the Isle of Man TT races and the riders will reconvene at Knockhill on June 18.

But there is no rest for Hickman as he travels directly to Northern Ireland for the North West 200 where he will be riding for Smiths Racing in the Superbike, Superstock and Supersport classes.

The week-long festival on the spectacular Causeway coast will begin on Sunday, and will include two days of practice on Tuesday and next Thursday, with racing on Thursday evening and Saturday, May 13.