After the disappointment of a non-finish in race one, Peter Hickman rode to a sensational victory in the second race at Silverstone in the 2016 British Superbike championship’s curtain-raiser on Sunday.
Making his debut for JG Speedfit Kawasaki, Willoughby’s Hicky made it through into the second stage of qualifying.
But after making an adjustment to the settings for the next session he soon realised he had made a mistake and ended the session in 16th place to start race one from the sixth row.
Hickman got away to a good start in the first 14-lap race and was up to 12th on the first lap. He moved into 10th on lap two and by mid race was holding sixth place.
He overtook Christian Iddon one lap later and then got past Jason O’Halloran to latch onto the back of the leaders.
He was edging closer and closer to the top three and was poised to move up into third place when he encountered a problem and was forced to retire at Becketts with a technical issue.
“I am gutted as I felt I could have won that race,” Hickman reflected.
“I was comfortable on the bike and was still in the 2.06s while those ahead were down in the 2.07s.”
Because he posted some fast lap times in the first race he was placed on the front row for the start of the second affair, and as the lights went out he shot away to get the hole shot and grab the lead for JG Speedfit Kawasaki.
He was briefly put back to second when the first race winner Michael Laverty moved ahead, but his lead was short lived as Hicky snatched it back on lap six and was never troubled again until the final lap when Shakey Byrne came into the equation.
He pushed Hicky all the way to the final corner and dived underneath to take the lead, but Hickman was having none of it and powered out of the corner to cross the line for the win with an advantage of just nine hundredths of a second.
Hickman, who celebrated his 29th birthday on Friday, received an extra present in the form of the huge winner’s trophy that was presented to him on the podium.
He added: “When we came here we had completely changed the bike as we had some problems during testing that we couldn’t get rid of.
“We have now cured the problem but it’s made the bike really difficult to ride.
“Because of the weather we have not got a lot of laps in - just 22 laps before race one - and then we messed qualifying up a little bit with the wrong setting.
“We were having a really good race in the first event but had to retire with a technical issue but the JG Speedfit crew did a fantastic job and put the Kawasaki back together again.
“It absolutely never missed a beat in race two so it’s good to give them a win as the boys have worked long hours to get the Kawasaki working so well for me.”
The next round is at Oulton Park over the Bank Holiday weekend of April 30-May 2, when Hicky will be anxious to repeat his winning form.