Brace of eighths at Oulton for Hicky

Peter Hickman. Photo: Dave Yeomans.
Peter Hickman. Photo: Dave Yeomans.

Peter Hickman recorded a brace of eighth places in the British Superbike class at Oulton Park on Sunday in mixed weather conditions, pouring rain in race one and relatively dry conditions for race two.

The Willoughby rider struggled in free practice and qualifying with an electrical problem on the Smiths Racing BMW, but managed to secure a fourth-row start to the first of two races.

The start was disrupted by Glenn Irwin, who stalled his Ducati.

The riders were given two warm up laps and the race reduced to 16 laps.

In treacherous conditions in the rain, Hickman made a cautious start from a midfield position.

The spray from the riders ahead made visibility almost non-existent, but Hickman settled into 11th place for the first few laps until the field spread out a little.

He made gradual progress through the field to take up eighth place on lap 10, where he remained to the chequered flag.

By the time the riders took their grid positions for the second race the rain had stopped and the track was more or less dry.

Again, Hickman got a good start and was 14th on the first lap.

But he then became embroiled in a battle for position with fellow road racer Dean Harrison, with the pair exchanging places over the next few laps until Hickman finally got the better of him and pulled away.

He then set about catching Dan Linfoot and passed him on lap eight of 18 before homing in on James Ellison.

He caught and passed Ellison on lap 11, and when Richard Cooper crashed he was promoted to ninth position.

Two laps later Brad Ray crashed and Hickman found himself up into eighth place.

Too far behind the next group of riders to make much impression on them, he remained in eighth place and crossed the finish line.

The 16 points he accrued from the two races at Oulton Park see him remain in sixth place, but he has edged to within four points of Ray, who holds fifth.

Hickman said: “It’s been a tough weekend where we’ve been plagued by some sort of electrical problem all three days.

“We could improve it and make the bike better, but we couldn’t cure it, and with Oulton Park being a difficult circuit at the best of times, the issue has made it even more so.

“On the positive side of things, we found a good wet setting which allowed me to compete and, although eighth in the first race wasn’t the best of results, it was a good one for me in the wet after the struggles we’ve had.”

The penultimate round of the championship is at Assen in the Netherlands over the weekend of September 28-30, when Hickman will be chasing down the riders ahead of him in the showdown.

He is only 14 points away from third place in the overall standings, and with 150 points up for grabs it is not impossible for him to do just that.