Superbiker Peter Hickman just missed out on a place in the end of season showdown by a margin of 10 points after finishing race one in third and the other two races in seventh position at the weekend.
It was a history making day at Oulton Park for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki team, as Leon Haslam, James Ellison and Hickman climbed the rostrum in the opening race to claim the first-ever MCE British Superbike Championship podium lockout, with Hicky taking a splendid third place in the first of three races at the Cheshire circuit.
Hicky, who lives near Cadwell Park, was riding well and during free practice shaved a full second from his personal best times at Oulton. But in the final session he hit a bump at Knickerbrook and crashed unhurt.
The bike was damaged but the team worked well to get her back on song in time for Saturday’s qualifying laps.
He said: “I was running well inside lap record pace and would have posted a really fast lap when I crashed. Oulton can be a bit bumpy in places and I was unlucky to hit the wrong place at Knickerbrook. Thanks to my team for getting Doris repaired and ready to go for qualifying.”
Qualifying was held earlier than usual on Saturday and Peter was able to progress through to the final stages to secure seventh place on the grid for the first race on Saturday afternoon.
He said: “I took another half a second from my lap times so that’s a second and a half faster than ever before around this track, and the top seven were circulating under lap record time which is incredible.”
As race one got underway, Hicky settled into sixth place to follow the leaders for the opening few laps. When Bridewell crashed, Hicky was elevated to fifth and he set about reeling in Luke Mossey, eventually passing him on lap 12 for fourth place. After Shakey Byrne highsided, Hicky took the advantage and moved up to third place which he held till the chequered flag to finish behind his two teammates, Ellison and Haslam.
Over the moon to be back on the podium, Hickman said: “What an incredible race and it’s an amazing feeling to be part of the JG Speedfit Kawasaki 1-2-3, the first in BSB history. It has been a brilliant weekend, the bike has been working fantastic and I knew our race pace was strong – particularly towards the end of the race.
“I know I needed to keep my head, particularly when Jason was putting the pressure on, but knowing the podium lockout was possible, I really wanted to do it.”
Hicky needed another good result to have any chance of a place in the showdown but was unable to replicate the result from the first encounter and crossed the finish line in seventh position.
As the lights went out for the final race, Hicky got away to a good start but his progress was halted by the safety car which remained on the track for four laps. He eventually crossed the finish line in seventh place once again, but sadly just that bit too far back to claim his showdown place. He moves on at the weekend to Donington Park in eighth place, just six points away from Michael Laverty who holds seventh.
Disappointed not to make the Showdown, Hickman has his sights firmly set on securing the Riders Cup: “It’s been a really good weekend, making history yesterday is certainly something we’ll remember for a long time.”