Man of the moment Peter Hickman rode to a third and fourth place at his local circuit of Cadwell Park on Sunday where, throughout free practice and qualifying he was always in the top three and began race one from a front row grid position in second place.
But he didn’t get the best of starts and found himself in fifth place on the first of 18 laps. He was running well and looking comfortable but then Shakey Byrne lost the front and nearly crashed and Hicky was forced to run over the grass to avoid a collision. He dropped down the order to ninth and took a couple of laps to settle back into his rhythm before beginning his move forward. He picked off the riders ahead one at a time and, after following his Smiths Racing teammate Lee Jackson for a number of laps he finally got past him to close in on Jason O’Halloran. With three laps remaining he caught and passed O’Halloran but try as he may he just couldn’t make a pass on Byrne who was holding third place and crossed the finish line in fourth just 0.2s away from a podium position. But in his effort to catch the leaders Hicky set the fourth fastest lap so was to start the second race from the head of the second row.
He commented: “I didn’t make the best of starts; I think I was fifth or sixth on the first lap and thought I would just sit there and see how things panned out. I felt like I could go forward and then Shakey lost the front at Mansfield but stayed on and everyone had to back off. Some went wide and I nearly hit the back of O’Halloran so had to sit up and take to the grass so was down to ninth when I came across the line. It was hard work from there as it’s so hard to pass around this track.”
Hicky got a better start to the second affair and moved into fourth place which he held until eventual race winner James Ellison passed him. But he was soon to regain fourth place when Leon Haslam fell. On lap 14 he was elevated to third place when Byrne pulled out with a bike problem and although Hicky was very close he couldn’t make a pass and had to be content to finish third behind Ellison and second place Lee Jackson making it a double podium for Smiths Racing. Hicky was delighted to find he had been awarded the Monster Energy King of the Mountain trophy which was presented to the rider with the best overall result from the two superbike races.
Hicky said: “This is absolutely fantastic. The Smiths BMW team has done a fantastic job on the bike and she has been running great all weekend. To be honest Lee was setting such a strong pace but I was there in the mix all through the race and I am really happy for Lee, he has been on the pace all weekend. I did have a bit of a go at the two of them, I didn’t mean to but I had little choice as James decided to pass Lee at the same time and I had to go really wide as I knew I would never make the corner. After that I kind of left them to it and brought her home in third place. I am really happy with the King of the Mountain; it’s a nice little trophy.”
Peter remains in third place in the overall standings on 193 points with just one round remaining before the start of the showdown. But with three races at the next round at Silverstone on September 10 and 75 points up for grabs it is still not 100% certain who will go through to the shootout.
pics show podium Lee Jackson, James Ellison and Peter Hickman race three. Hickman receiving the King of the Mountain from former racer Roger Marshall plus jumping the Mountain.
credit Dave Yeomans