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Hickman Brands Hatch

HICKMAN AND OLSEN END SEASON IN STYLE FOR SMITHS RACING BMW

Gloucester-based Smiths Racing ended their 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship season at Brands Hatch and it proved to be a very productive weekend for the team as Peter Hickman took three top eight finishes, including a best of fifth, with team-mate Alex Olsen scoring points in all three races.

Both riders enjoyed highly productive runs in qualifying on the Smiths BMW S1000RR with Hickman setting the fifth quickest time, for a second row start, and Olsen recording his best qualifying position in his short time with the team in tenth.   It put them both in a good position ahead of the first of the three 20-lap races on Saturday afternoon but although Peter completed the first lap in sixth place, Alex slipped back to 15th. However, the race was only seven laps old when it was stopped due to a three-rider crash which left oil deposited on the track.   Re-started over 12 laps, Lincoln-based Hickman again slotted into sixth in the early stages with Olsen in 13th as the Kent venue enjoyed some autumnal October sunshine. Hickman got pushed back to seventh by Scott Redding on lap two which was ultimately where he finished and although Olsen also remained in 13th for the duration of the race, he was part of a six-rider battle for eighth place which saw just 1.4 seconds cover them at the chequered flag.

Starting Sunday’s first race from the third and fifth rows respectively, Peter in eighth and Alex in 13th, proceedings followed a similar pattern to the day before and after a long battle with Jason O’Halloran, Hickman took eighth place to maintain his sixth place overall in the championship standings. Olsen was again embroiled in a good battle, this time with three other riders for 11th place and he took his second successive 13th place.   The final race of the weekend, and season, again saw the three leading Ducatis of Josh Brookes, Tommy Bridewell and Scott Redding take the top three positions but Hickman fought his way through from a first-lap ninth to an eventual fifth place to seal sixth place overall in the final championship standings.

Sittingbourne-based Olsen, meanwhile, took his third consecutive 13th place finish to ensure he scored points in all three races and end his season positively.   The team also announced their plans for the 2020 Bennetts British Superbike Championship where it was confirmed Hickman would continue on the Smiths BMW S1000RR for a fourth consecutive term with Olsen joining him for his first full campaign in the premier class.

Peter Hickman: “It’s been a tough weekend with little dry track time in practice and even in qualifying it was still a bit sketchy, but I was more than happy to take fifth. For race one, we made a couple more changes to the bike and whilst we’re still improving all the time, I was lacking that last little bit to go with the group battling for fourth. The whole weekend was like that and we were changing things on the bike all the time, so each race felt different but all the steps we made were positive ones. The third race was the best in terms of maintaining a consistent pace throughout and the team have worked really well all year, particularly at the beginning when the bike was literally brand new, so we’re in good shape for 2020 where we’ll be able to hit the ground running.”

Alex Olsen: “I couldn’t have been happier with how qualifying went but I struggled a bit in race one when I was in a big group of riders. My pace on my own was very strong but in the group, it was difficult as we were all lapping within a tenth of each other and I didn’t want to make a lunge. It’s my first time on a Superbike on the GP circuit so I was learning all the time, but I maintained good consistency throughout. I know what to expect from the Superbike now, so I’m really pleased to have signed for the team for next year as well and it’s nice to go into the winter knowing exactly what I’ll be doing. The team have welcomed me since I joined them at Cadwell and have been brilliant whilst Peter has been a massive help too so I’m really looking forward to a full season of BSB in 2020.”

Darren Jones, Team Co-ordinator: “It’s been a solid weekend for both riders and they’ve both done a good job throughout the three days. We sorted out a number of the problems Peter has been having all year but it’s highlighted a few others, which is evolution I guess, but he finished in the top eight in every race and fifth at the end ensured he ended his season positively. It was the same for Alex and it’s nice to have had him onboard for the last four rounds and keeping both riders for 2020 means we already have a good base to work from and with a good testing programme ahead of us, we’ll be able to start next season in really good shape. Sixth overall and the best BMW rider and team again is something to be proud of and I’m proud of the whole team for what they’ve achieved this year.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (12 laps)

1 Josh Brookes (Ducati)

2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)

3 Scott Redding (Ducati)

4 Christian Iddon (BMW)

5 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)

6 Jason O’Halloran (Yamaha)

7 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)

13 Alex Olsen (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (20 laps)

1 Josh Brookes (Ducati)

2 Scott Redding (Ducati)

3 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)

4 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)

5 Christian Iddon (BMW)

6 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)

8 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) 1

3 Alex Olsen (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race three (20 laps)

1 Josh Brookes (Ducati)

2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)

3 Scott Redding (Ducati)

4 Christian Iddon (BMW)

5 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)

6 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)

13 Alex Olsen (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

 

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