Smiths Racing


Hickman Snetterton


The Global Robots BMW team again found the going tough during the second round of the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Snetterton and, just like the first round two weeks ago, 11th place proved to be their best result across the three races, this time for Peter Hickman.

Blustery conditions meant it was hard work for all of the competitors on Friday and Saturday but it was Hickman who was the quicker of the two riders in qualifying and he went into Saturday’s first race in 14th place, four places ahead of team-mate Alex Olsen although both riders were moved up one spot with Andrew Irwin having to start from the back of the grid.   The strong winds remained for the 14-lap race and Peter moved up a place on the opening lap but, unfortunately, Alex’s race was over before it had really got going as a coming together with Andrew Irwin left him with machine damage and subsequently led to an early retirement.   That just left Hickman to fly the flag and he spent much of the race in 12th place and locked in battle with fellow BMW rider Hector Barbera, a contest he duly won comfortably at the chequered flag. However, both riders were overhauled by Kyle Ryde on lap ten and so 13th and three hard-earned points was the outcome.

Sunday’s first race, over the slightly longer distance of 16 laps, saw Peter start from the fifth row once more but Alex’s early retirement on Saturday meant he lined up on the ninth row and with a lot of work to do. It proved to be a tough race for both riders once more but their efforts were both ultimately rewarded with championship points.   Louth-based Hickman ran inside the top 15 throughout and when Andrew Irwin and Ryan Vickers crashed out on lap 13, he was promoted up the order to 12th. He then overhauled Gino Rea with two laps to go to claim 11th whilst Alex put in a solid ride from his 25th place starting position to pick up a point for 15th.

Unfortunately, that proved to be their best race of the weekend as both riders failed to finish the third and final race, Olsen retiring on the fifth lap due to the ongoing braking issues and Hickman forced out with a technical issue on lap ten when he was running in 12th place.

Peter Hickman: “We’ve been battling set up all weekend but we’ve made progress and every time I’ve gone out on the bike I’ve been able to make a step forward; if we could start Friday’s free practice session now with the bike in its current state, I’d be confident of some good results. As it is, it’s been another frustrating weekend but the whole team has worked tirelessly and we’ve made good progress with the chassis so there are positives to take away. We’ve got two weeks now before the next round so can hopefully use what we’ve learned this weekend at Silverstone and hit the ground running.”

Alex Olsen: It’s been a very challenging weekend again, unfortunately, and I’m still struggling to get the bike stopped, an issue that was heightened here at Snetterton due to large amounts of braking to be done. Every setting we tried during free practice just didn’t work and I was running on everywhere and although we improved the bike slightly during qualifying, it still wasn’t to the level we should be at. The second race was ok, coming through from so far back on the grid and we did find a direction to go in but perhaps went too far for the final race when I had to pull in again. It’s back to the drawing board but everyone’s working hard and Silverstone’s been good to me in the past so hopefully our fortunes will improve there.”

Darren Jones, Team Co-ordinator: “It’s been another tough weekend and after such a strong test programme earlier in the year, the first two rounds just haven’t gone as planned or as we thought they would. The new tyres we’re all running this year are proving to be a challenge and are affecting teams and bikes in different ways, our issue being with the rear and the brakes.   We did find a direction to work in as the weekend progressed which could be seen in the improved lap times so we’ll take that positive away with us and we need to make that big improvement again when we get to Silverstone. We’re certainly not where we want to be but the whole team are working tirelessly and will keep doing so to get us back to where we should be.” 


Bennetts British Superbike Championship Standings (after six races)

1 Glenn Irwin (Honda Racing) 118pts

2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati) 95

3 Christian Iddon (Ducati) 86

4 Josh Brookes (Ducati) 82

5 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha) 65

6 Andrew Irwin (Honda) 58

14 Peter Hickman (Global Robots BMW) 17

17 Alex Olsen (Global Robots BMW) 8


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