MOTORCYCLING: Superbiker Hicky hampered by technical problem

Peter Hickman on track. Photo: Dave Yeomans
Peter Hickman on track. Photo: Dave Yeomans

It wasn’t the best of weekends for Peter Hickman at the Cathedral of Speed as his bike suffered a technical problem during qualifying which set the mood for the two races which he completed in 16th and 14th place in the penultimate round of the MCE British Superbike championship at Assen in the Netherlands.

Throughout free practice, his bike was not running quite as well as expected and then on the first flying lap of qualifying on Saturday it stopped altogether, leaving Hicky, who lives near Cadwell Park, to sit out the session down in 20th position.

Whatever was wrong appeared to have been rectified as Hicky was fourth in morning warm-up.

But it didn’t all go to plan as, although he got away to a good start in the first 18-lap affair from the seventh row, he was unable to keep the pace of the front runners and completed the race in 16th position.

Starting the second encounter from the improved grid position of row five, Hicky was soon up into 13th place and fighting for position within a large group of riders. He made it up to 14th on lap eight and on lap 11 was elevated to 12th.

But the pace was hot and he was eventually beaten back to 15th. On the final lap he made a pass on John Hopkins and made it stick to cross the finish line in 14th position to pick up two championship points.

Disappointed with the weekend, Hicky commented: “It’s been the worst weekend of the year for me really. The problem in qualifying really hampered us; everyone is so, so fast this year you just can’t make your way forward.

“Warm-up was great and I felt really positive for race one but unfortunately I just didn’t have the same grip from the rear in the race, which meant we were unable to improve our grid spot much for race two. The team has worked so hard and leaving here with two points isn’t really what we want or where we should be.”

The result of only scoring two championship points is that Hicky lost his lead in the Riders Cup and dropped down to ninth overall on 188 points and third in the Riders Cup, nine points away from the leader, Michael Laverty.

The final round is at Brands Hatch over the weekend of October 14/16 and, with three races and 75 points up for grabs, Hicky will be seeking three good results to be in with a chance of lifting the Riders Cup.