Smiths Racing


Peter Hickman Oulton Park


Rounds 10, 11 and 12 of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship took the Global Robots BMW team to Oulton Park, Cheshire and there was some smiling faces within the team as Peter Hickman recorded his best results of the year and two top ten finishes with eighth and tenth in Sunday’s races.

With team-mate Alex Olsen still recovering from the injuries he received at the previous round at Silverstone, Hickman was flying solo for the meeting and with some positive set-up changes to the BMW S1000RR during free practice, the Louth-based rider enjoyed one of his most profitable qualifying sessions of the season to take 12th place on the grid for Saturday afternoon’s opening race of the weekend.

A solid start to the 16-lap race saw Hickman complete the opening lap in a solid 13th place which was where he remained until half race distance when he moved up the order to 12th. Lap 11 saw him make further strides forward into tenth but just when it looked like he’d claim his first top ten finish of the year, an ambitious overtaking manoeuvre by another rider on the final lap pushed him wide resulting in a 12th place finish.   Starting Sunday’s first race from 14th on the grid, Peter held onto the position for the first four laps but he moved up a place on lap four and by half race distance he was up into 12th and closing in on the top ten. Indeed, by lap 13 he’d taken over tenth place and it was here where he finished for his first top ten finish of the season so far.

His strong pace enabled him to start the final race of the weekend from ninth on the grid and row three and this was where he stayed on the opening lap before getting shuffled back to 11th second time around.    However, feeling a lot happier with the bike after further changes to the set-up, Hickman kept pushing with his mid-race particularly strong as he moved forward a place on successive laps to take over eighth place. He duly held on to the position to record his best finish of the year.

Peter Hickman: “It’s good to finally have a half decent weekend and had it not been for being punted off in the first race, we could have had three top tens as opposed to two. Nevertheless, we’ve moved forward all weekend and been in a much better place compared to previous rounds with my qualifying strategy improving assisting with that. I haven’t been able to get the best out of the qualifying tyre but this weekend I did. We also made changes with the set up throughout and the bike felt strong which enabled me to overtake people in all of the races, particularly those when the air temperature was a bit cooler. The team have been working mega and whilst the results aren’t what we want, it’s nice to be back in the top ten.”

Darren Jones, Team Co-ordinator: “We had a difficult start to the weekend but just chipped away, which helped us move progressively forward. We continually changed the set-up, particularly our electronic strategy, and whilst we didn’t rip up any trees, we were able to move forward in each race so much so that our fastest lap in race two was only a tenth off what we’ve ever done.   Pete’s confidence has obviously taken a bit of a hit so he still needs to find that little bit more but he had a bike this weekend which enabled him to make a much better fist of things and we’ve ended the meeting in a reasonably good place. We’ve obviously missed Alex this weekend and can’t wait to have him back in the garage with us.”

The next round of the series takes place at Donington Park on October 2-4.

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Peter Hickman Smiths Racing


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