Strong showing gives Hickman podium place

Peter Hickman.
Peter Hickman.

Peter Hickman scored a fine third place at Silverstone in Sunday’s MCE British Superbike championship.

He celebrated his podium finish before returning to the bike to take eighth spot in the second of the day’s races at the Northamptonshire circuit.

“The bike’s been fantastic all weekend and although it’s taken me a bit longer than I would have liked to get used to the new BMW engine, I’m really happy now,” Hickman said.

“Unfortunately, I struggled from the start of race two and knew the grip wasn’t there and I just went backwards.

“All in all though, it’s been a strong day for me and the team and we’re still well in contention for the Riders Cup which is what we’re firmly aiming for.”

The meeting started well for the 28-year-old as he claimed seventh place in qualifying.

Hicky got away to a good start to his first race, completing the first lap in sixth position.

One lap later he was up with the leaders running comfortably in fourth place.

With tyre choice crucial, it looked at mid-race distance if the team had opted for the wrong decision as Hickman dropped back to fifth and lost ground.

However, as the race wore on he began to close the gap to the leaders and on the penultimate lap he overhauled James Ellison for third, which he held with ease to the chequered flag.

The drama wasn’t over though as, on the slowing down lap, other riders began to frantically wave at Hicky as the bike caught fire.

The exhaust had been rubbing against the fairing during the race and it was the latter that had caught alight.

Fortunately, the fire was soon extinguished and he duly took his place on the front row of the grid for the second 14-lap affair.

Tyre choice was the deciding factor this time.

By lap three he had dropped back to eighth and, with the leading group already edging away, hopes of a repeat result evaporated.

But Hicky rode solidly throughout and he held onto the position for eight more points.

The final round will be held at Brands Hatch in Kent on October 18. Prior to that, Hicky will be in action at Darley Moor this weekend for the annual Stars at Darley meeting.