Smiths Racing


Peter Hickman Oulton Park Smiths Racing BMW


Smiths BMW Racing’s Peter Hickman got his Bennetts British Superbike Championship Showdown underway in solid fashion at Oulton Park as he claimed a brace of eighth place finishes in difficult conditions to score vital points.


After recording the tenth fastest time across the three free practice sessions, Peter went into Saturday afternoon’s Datatag Extreme Qualifying session in confident mood but with rain threatening, it proved to be a tricky session for all concerned. Nevertheless, the Lincolnshire rider duly qualified the Smiths Racing BMW in 12th place for Sunday’s opening 18-lap race.

Conditions had changed considerably overnight and it was a wet first race, reduced to 16 laps over the 2.69-mile circuit with Peter completing the first lap in tenth position. Briefly pushed back to 11th, he moved back up to tenth on lap six and although further progress was difficult, by lap ten he had climbed into eighth place and it was there where he finished for eight hard-earned points.

Race two saw Peter start from tenth on the grid, but a disappointing opening two laps saw him shuffled all the way back to 16th although the drying track conditions did give him a chance of moving forward. This he duly did and although it took him until lap ten of 18 to climb into the top ten, two more overtaking manoeuvres saw him take his second successive eighth place to remain in sixth place overall in the title race.

Unfortunately, an accident in Friday afternoon’s second free practice session saw team-mate Sylvain Barrier suffer a crash which left him with a damaged right hand, serious enough to rule him out of action for the rest of the weekend. The Frenchman returned home to have the injury treated with the aim of being back on the grid for the next round at Assen.

Peter Hickman: “It’s been a tough weekend where we’ve been plagued by some sort of electrical problem all three days. We could improve it and make the bike better, but we couldn’t cure it and with Oulton Park being a difficult circuit at the best of times, the issue has made it even more so. On the positive side of things, we found a good wet setting which allowed me to compete and although eighth in the first race wasn’t the best of results, it was a good one for me in the wet after the struggles we’ve had. In the second race, I got bullied a bit in the first couple of laps and got pushed onto the damp stuff but by the middle of the race my pace was as good as anyone’s. We have the potential to be at the front, without doubt, but qualifying is still an issue and the additional electronic issue that has plagued us all weekend has hindered us even further. The team have been mega, like always, and have turned the bike upside down and inside out, changing practically everything so a massive thanks to them.”

Darren Jones, Team Co-ordinator: “It’s been another difficult weekend which started with Sylvain’s crash on Friday. Having ridden here earlier in the season, he was looking forward to coming back so it was a shame to lose him early although he should be back for Assen. Like Peter says, we had a problem with his bike all weekend and the boys have thrown everything at it, having late nights and early starts. We eventually got Peter a bike he could contend with although there was still a slight issue with it on deceleration. Two eighth place finishes are ok, but we need better in order to compete in the Showdown, so we’ll try and get a test in before Assen in order to cure the niggling issues and get ourselves further up the results sheets.” 


Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (16 laps) 1 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki) 2 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati) 3 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 4 Andrew Irwin (Ducati) 5 Michael Laverty (BMW) 6 Jason O’Halloran (Honda) 8 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) DNS Sylvain Barrier (Smiths Racing BMW)

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (18 laps) 1 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki) 2 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki) 3 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati) 4 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha) 5 Josh Brookes (Yamaha) 6 Glenn Irwin (Ducati) 8 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW) DNS Sylvain Barrier (Smiths Racing BMW)


Championship Points (after ten rounds)

1 Haslam 604pts

2 Dixon 573

3 Brookes 530

4 G Irwin 530

5 Ray 524

6 Hickman 520

23 Barrier 10

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