Hicky unleashes the Beast and claims a podium place

Peter Hickman celebrates.
Peter Hickman celebrates.

Peter Hickman claimed a podium place at the Ulster GP on Saturday.

Despite showing much promise, bike problems and a red flag meant he didn’t record the results he was hoping for except in the Supersport races - where he rode the Iron Maiden Trooper Beer Kawasaki to a seventh place in the first race and recorded a fine third place in the second encounter.

In the Superstock race Hicky was leading in the early stages after qualifying for a third row start, but the GB MOTO Kawasaki suffered a puncture resulting in a retirement after just three laps.

Next up was the first Supersport race where Hicky had qualified in ninth position to start his race from the third row.

It was always going to be a challenge for the Lincolnshire ace as he is not so familiar with the little 600cc Kawasaki, having only ridden it at the North West 200 and Isle of Man TT races earlier in the year.

But Hickman is a class rider and soon got to grips with the bike.

He was running in seventh place behind Michael Dunlop and about to make a move forward when the red flag came out on lap five and a result declared, giving Hickman a seventh place finish, albeit not quite what he wanted but a finish nonetheless.

Because of the poor weather conditions on Thursday, the Superpole lap for the Superbike races was delayed until Saturday.

The majority of the riders had never done a Superpole lap before and Hickman had the experience of just one in the British Superbike championship, but he ended up in third place for a front row start to the two races.

As the lights went out, Hicky took the lead but was relegated back to third place by the end of the first lap.

He posted the fastest lap of the race on lap three with a 3m 18.996 secs as the top four riders pulled well clear of the pack.

There was nothing in it, just 0.6 seconds separating the four riders, with Hickman looking certain of a podium position.

But it was not to be as at the end of lap five he was forced out at Wheelers with an engine failure.

The second Supersport race was up next and, once again, the action was close, the top seven riders covered by just 1.2 seconds.

On lap four Hickman was up to fifth and then caught and passed Dean Harrison on the run to Deer’s Leap one lap later.

He then caught Bruce Anstey but couldn’t make the pass stick and it was all down to the hairpin on the last lap.

As they emerged from the hairpin Hickman was ahead of Anstey and held his position to the chequered flag to take a podium finish in third place.

Hickman said: “It’s nice to get a podium after the bad luck in the previous races.

“We could have been on the podium in all the races so far but we had a few problems unfortunately.

The Trooper Kawasaki worked well for me and to give the boys something back after such a tough day is mega.

“Iron Maiden and Trooper have been absolutely brilliant as they have stuck by me and we are all over the moon with the result.

“The little Kawasaki lacks a bit of punch and with me being over six foot doesn’t really help.

“But once I got into my stride I was able to run with the front boys and put the Beast on the podium,”

Because of the lack of time to fit a new engine in the Superbike, Hickman was forced to use the Superstock bike for the final race of the day.

He was at a disadvantage because the Stocker is a bit heavier and slower than the Superbike, but the rider, who lives near cadwell Park, was happy to give it a go and if nothing else he was able to go out and enjoy himself.

He was third on the first lap but the faster Superbikes soon got past him and he eventually settled into a lonely seventh place, where he crossed the line.

The next outing for the Lincolnshire rider is on home tarmac at Cadwell Park over the Bank Holiday weekend of August 27-29.