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SEVENTH HEAVEN FOR HICKMAN AT BRANDS HATCH

The Smiths Racing BMW team enjoyed another strong outing at round two of the MCE British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch over the Easter weekend with Peter Hickman taking a pair of top ten finishes and team-mate Lee Jackson having two confidence-boosting rides.

A difficult two days of practice and qualifying left Hickman down in 17th place and on the sixth row of the grid for the first 30-lap race around the Kent Indy track but the Gloucester-based team made changes to the bike and they proved beneficial as Hickman made a great start and was soon embroiled in a battle for eighth place.   Battling throughout the race and lapping at a similar speed to the podium finishers, Hickman had to settle for ninth place at the flag but with it came a better grid position on row three for the second race later in the day.   With a great start, Hicky was soon up to fifth place as he diced with multiple MCE BSB champion Shane Byrne and after another strong race, the Louth rider crossed the line in seventh place meaning he moved up to fifth place in the championship table.

Team-mate Lee Jackson was having his first race outings of the year after being forced to miss the opening round at Donington Park and although he qualified in 21st place, he made good progress in the opening encounter. Indeed, the Lincoln rider was unlucky to miss out on the points after a solid ride saw him eventually cross the line in 16th.   It was a similar story for the 21 year old from Lincoln in the second race and having slotted into 19th in the early stages, he eventually took 16th place for the second time in the day. His best race lap was considerably quicker than he’d gone all weekend and he’s now eagerly looking forward to the next round and continued progress.

Peter Hickman: “I was nowhere all weekend but on race day things started to come together and full credit to the team, they worked so hard and the changes we made helped to move me forward. During qualifying, it was really tough and I had to go well out of my comfort zone to do the lap times whereas on race day I was a lot happier. It still wasn’t easy but it was a lot better than it was and to say I’m pleased with the outcome would be an understatement. I’ve done my best ever lap of the Indy circuit and have more points than what I did after two rounds in 2016 so we can go away happy.”

Lee Jackson: “You never want to leave a meeting without points but it’s been a lot better weekend than what it was at Donington. I’ve ridden a BMW for a good few years now but this year’s is very different due to different suspension and the like but getting the full weekend under my belt has given me a lot of confidence. We’ve made massive improvements to the bike and step by step, I’ve moved forward and gone quicker in each session. I’ve moved forward a lot this weekend so the next step is to get back into the points.”

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “After where we were in qualifying, race day has been an awful lot better and Peter and the team really turned things around. He put in two strong rides to get two strong results and although it’s obviously early days, those solid points have moved him into a good fifth place overall. For Lee, the weekend has been a major confidence booster and for him to get two good finishes and complete every session and race is great for all concerned. We’ll keep working hard and look for further improvements at round three.”

MCE British Superbike Championship race one (30 laps)

1 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki)

2 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

3 Christian Iddon (BMW)

4 Shane Byrne (Ducati)

5 Dan Linfoot (Honda)

6 Glenn Irwin (Ducati)

9 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)

16 Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

MCE British Superbike Championship race two (30 laps)

1 Luke Mossey (Kawasaki)

2 Christian Iddon (BMW)

3 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)

4 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)

5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)

6 Dan Linfoot (Honda)

7 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)

16 Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

Championship Standings (after two rounds)

1 Haslam 86pts 2 Mossey 81 3 Iddon 65 4 Brookes 48 5 Hickman 37 6 Irwin 36

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