After a fantastic weekend at Cadwell Park, Hicky and the FHO Racing BMW Team headed to Snetterton for Round 7 of the British Superbike Championship knowing the M 1000 RR BMW was a strong contender to take Hicky to the Race of Aces Crown!
Friday practice sessions went really well and Hicky found great pace from the bike. Lapping faster than he had done before around the Norfolk circuit in 1m 47s and very close to a 1m 46s late in the session. He finished the day P1 overall.
In qualifying, Hicky was happy with a second row start in P5. He didn’t expect to get pole at Snetterton as he knew the pace would be really hot.
“I knew I was nearing my limit at 1m 47’s flat and felt like I could do a mid 46’s but I didn’t expect that would be fast enough for pole which it wasn’t.”
Race 1 and Hicky made a great start and started battling with the usual suspects. But things started to go wrong fast. Nothing had been changed with set up, but Hicky really struggled with the bike and it felt completely different in the race, than during the very fast laps of qualifying, a hard race to take 7th place and valuable points at the flag.
Peter – “Frustrating race as we had changed nothing on the bike but it was completely different. We will sit down this evening and go through the data to understand what we need to do and see what we can change ready for Race 2.
Bit of an odd race, back to about 12th at one point, so to come through to 7th with some DNF’s in front of me was not the end of the world, but when we are here to win and get podiums it’s not good enough and we must do better tomorrow.”
Sunday’s warm up did nothing to reassure Peter that the issue had been found, and during race 2 he struggled with the same issues as race 1. Dropping back a couple of places in the early stages, Hicky fought back to take a frustrating 10th.
Race 3 grid formation and Peter had a technical issue which moved him to the back of the grid. Could nothing go right this weekend for Hickman?
He made up ground and fought through the field to 11th and finding himself matching the lap times of those in front of him. Everything changed when Danny Buchan had engine issues causing him to high side and his bike left fluid on the racing line, meaning the race was red flagged.
A five lap race restart with Hicky starting in 8th. Taking full advantage of changes made after race 2, he battled up to 6th place, loosing out on the last dash to the chequered flag by Brookes and ended up in 7th.
Peter Hickman “What an unusual weekend for us, we made changes in warm-up for today, but the bike was still not handling. I wasn’t comfortable and we have been scratching our heads all weekend. We just can’t understand what actually happened.
After race 2, we went to make more changes again, the team actually noticed something wasn’t quite right, which would have contributed to the handling massively. I’m happy they found out what caused the issues and it put my mind at rest. This was fixed in time for race 3.
I’m not sure what went on whilst on the grid for Race 3, as the bike jumped forward and stalled, without me even letting the clutch go! This meant I had to put my hand up as the light was on, causing the race start to be abandoned and I then got moved to the back of the grid.
I felt my race was done, but didn’t give up. I got my head down and got through to about 11th a couple of laps in, the bike finally feeling good and as it had on Friday! It was doing what I wanted it to, braking where I wanted it to, just as is should have done.
The race was then red flagged and I started from 8th on the restart for a 5 lap dash. I got away really well and some big overtakes into the last corner.
I kept pace with the battle for the podium, which was just in front of me and where we should have been all weekend. I even managed the fastest lap of the race on lap 3, which was only taken from me on the last lap by Brookes. The bike was working awesome.
So, a mixed bag really. Really happy with the pace, really disappointed that the weekend hasn’t gone our way, however, two sevenths and a tenth isn’t the end of the world. I only need 1 point now to secure my place in the showdown. My nearest rivals for the showdown also had bad weekends.
Lastly, as daft as it may sound, I’m actually happy I managed to get through a round at Snetterton without crashing, which is a 1st for me since I started riding as it’s always been a bogey track for me.
Thanks again for all your support! Next up Silverstone! “