Hickman into British Superbike top-six

Peter Hickman EMN-180430-092847002
Peter Hickman EMN-180430-092847002

Despite still feeling unwell due to the severe kidney infection he has been suffering from over the past few weeks, Peter Hickman recorded a seventh and fourth place in his two British Superbike races to move up into the top-six in the rider standings.

The Louth rider was never out of the top 10 during free practice and qualifying and made it through to the final stage of qualifying to bag a third row start to the first 18 lap encounter.

After resting overnight to gain a bit of strength, Hickman began the first race in seventh place and remained in that position throughout the 18 laps to pick up nine championship points.

The course car halted the race action for a few laps which gave Hickman a chance to rest mid race and because his closest rival crashed out of the race Hickman scored sufficient points to overtake him and move up into sixth place just two points ahead of Danny Buchan in the race for a place in the end of season showdown for the title.

Starting the second race from the third row Hickman was soon up into fifth place and, although he was still lacking strength, he managed to pass Glenn Irwin and move into fourth place.

He held on to fourth through the second half of the race to cross the finish line and pick up a further 13 championship points.

He finished the race well ahead of Buchan and extended his lead over him to seven points in the run up to the showdown.

Hickman commented: “It’s been a pretty good weekend and although we’re still struggling a bit with grip and I’m still a long way short of being at full fitness, fourth and seventh place finishes are a pretty good set of results especially as I have now moved into sixth place overall and into one of the Showdown positions.

“Race one wasn’t too bad as the safety car period gave me a bit of a breather but the second felt more like two races and at half race distance I was beginning to flag a little.”

With a three-week gap before the next round at Silverstone on September 7-9 it will give Hickman the chance to rest up and try to shake off the debilitating infection that is draining all his strength.

Silverstone is a circuit he usually goes well on and he will need all his strength to maintain his position in the top six.

There are three races to contest and at the end of the meeting it will be the top six riders who go through to the showdown over the final three rounds to race for the title of 2018 British Superbike champion.