Hickman bounces back in style

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AFTER suffering a crash in race one, Willoughby rider Peter Hickman shrugged off his bruises to claim a fine seventh place in the second race at Silverstone in the penultimate round of the British Superbike championship on Sunday.

This helped him retain his eighth place in the overall standings with three races left to run.

After completing his free practice in a fine fifth position, Hicky went on to qualify the Tyco Honda Fireblade in eighth place for a second row start to race one at Silverstone.

He had the honour of being the highest placed Honda on the grid, out-qualifying both the HM Plant Honda riders who are involved in the end of season showdown.

He completed the first lap in eighth position before passing both Batham’s Ducati riders, Michael Rutter and Martin Jessopp, to slot into sixth place.

He was heading the second wave of riders, who were a few seconds behind the leaders, and beginning to pull away when he fell at Chapel Curve.

He managed to pick the bike up and return to the pits where frantic repairs were made in an effort to get him back out on track.

Although four laps down on the rest of the field, it was worth going back out to try and get a fast lap in order to secure a good grid position for race two.

Once again starting from the second row in eighth position, Hicky got away well and soon settled into fifth place.

This time he was running with the leading four riders who were all fighting for the win.

When eventual winner Josh Brookes went past him, Hicky latched onto the back and the pair passed Michael Laverty, but on lap nine of 14, Laverty moved back ahead although Hicky remained in close company to the leaders.

As the race wore on, his tyre began to wear and he was caught and passed by Jon Kirkham.

Hicky began to drop back off the pace of the front runners, and was pleased to see the red flag end the race one lap early when Chris Walker’s Kawasaki blew the engine.

The final three races of the 2011 British superbike championship will take place at Brands Hatch over the weekend of October 7-9.

The three races, one on the Saturday and the usual two on Sunday, will determine the final standings in the 2011 championship, where at present Hicky holds joint eighth place with Michael Rutter on a career best 146 points.