Hickman up to fifth in Superbike standings

Peter Hickman at Brands Hatch. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Peter Hickman at Brands Hatch. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

Peter Hickman battle through a difficult free practice and qualifying at Brands Hatch to claim two top-10 finishes.

He recorded a ninth and a seventh place finish in the two races in the second round of the MCE British Superbike championship, enough to see him sitting in fifth in the table on 37 points.

Starting the first 30-lap encounter from a sixth-row grid position, Hickman - from Willoughby - got away to a flyer on the Smiths Racing BMW.

He was up into 11th place by the end of the first lap.

He tailed Glenn Irwin, eventually passing him on lap five before becoming embroiled in a battle for eighth place.

He completed the race in ninth place but his fastest lap gave him a much better grid position for the second race later in the day.

Once again he got away to a fantastic start, finding himself up in fourth place on the first lap.

He was running in close company to last year’s champion Shane Byrne, who finally overtook him on lap 11.

One lap later Byrne’s team mate Irwin had found a second wind and he too went past, demoting Hickman to sixth place.

But Irwin crashed a few laps later, followed on the next lap by Byrne at the same spot, which gifted Hicky sixth place once again.

In the final stages Honda Racing rider Dan Linfoot made a move on Hickman, demoting him to seventh with three laps remaining, and he crossed the finish line for seventh, collecting nine championship points.

Hickman said: “I was nowhere all weekend, but on race day things started to come together and full credit to the team, they worked so hard and the changes we made helped to move me forward.

“During qualifying, it was really tough and I had to go well out of my comfort zone to do the lap times whereas on race day I was a lot happier.

“It still wasn’t easy but it was a lot better than it was, and to say I’m pleased with the outcome would be an understatement.

“I’ve done my best-ever lap of the Indy circuit and have more points than after two rounds in 2016 so we can go away happy.”

The next round is at one of Hickman’s favourite circuits, Oulton Park on May 1.