Hickman forced to retire from both Thruxton races

Peter Hickman in action at Thruxton. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Peter Hickman in action at Thruxton. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

In a weekend that promised plenty, Peter Hickman and the RAF Reserves/BMW team found luck again in short supply at Thruxton on Sunday.

The Willoughby rider was forced to retire from both of the British Superbike Championship races.

Having qualified in an excellent sixth place, the 28-year old was running in eighth in the early stages of the first race only for it to be red flagged on lap five due to an oil spill.

Starting from sixth place on the grid once more for the re-started race, which was run over 15-laps, Hickman immediately moved up to fourth place although three laps later he found himself back in 11th as a big group of riders battled for position.

His luck then deserted him on lap six when the clutch started slipping and with no drive he was reluctantly forced to retire.

Unfortunately, with the retirement happening so early on, it meant he hadn’t registered a strong lap time and he had to start the second race from the much lower position of 21st and the seventh row.

However, it ultimately mattered little as his race was over before it had begun when a technical problem forced him out on the opening lap.

“I’m lost for words a bit at the moment and if it wasn’t for bad luck, we wouldn’t be having any luck at all,” Hickman said.

“Practice and qualifying went just as we hoped and couldn’t have gone any better but nothing went for us at all on race day.

“Everyone’s worked their hardest but we just can’t catch a break so it’s disappointing to say the least.

“That’s how racing goes sometimes though, and you have to take the low points with the high ones so we’ll keep doing what we’re doing and things will change for us I’m sure.”

Team owner Lee Hardy added: “I’m a bit like Pete to be honest and don’t know what to say, we’re simply not getting any luck at all at the moment.

“Having worked so hard in qualifying to put us in the best position possible, I just feel for Pete, the team and the sponsors that nothing went right on race day.

“Everyone’s giving 100 per cent and Pete showed this weekend that when things go right, like they did in practice and qualifying, he’s as quick as anyone.

“We just need lady luck to smile on us.

“On the plus side, it was nice to have so many of our sponsors with us this weekend and we’ll head to the Ulster Grand Prix now where, hopefully, our fortunes will turn around.’

The next round of the BSB series takes place at Cadwell Park, but not on the usual Bank Holiday weekend as the MotoGP race at Silverstone has taken that slot.

The British Superbike championship round has been brought forward to August 21-23 and Hickman will be hoping for a repeat of his results last year, when he took his first victory in the series.

Prior to that, Hickman will be heading to Northern Ireland for next week’s Ulster Grand Prix.

Last year on his debut at the event he recorded a win and a brace of fifth places plus a seventh place.

He also became the fastest-ever newcomer at the event with a fastest lap of 131mph around the high-speed Dundrod road course.