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Ellison Hickman knockhill

SIXTH FOR HICKMAN AND TOP TEN FOR ELLISON

Smiths Racing were back in action with round five of the series taking place at Knockhill in Scotland and although weather conditions were mixed, both Peter Hickman and James Ellison came away with a good haul of points.

After sunshine and good conditions for much of the weekend, a heavily delayed and wet qualifying session late on Saturday resulted in Ellison being the quicker of the two riders on the Smiths BMW S1000RR and he lined up in 14th place for Sunday’s opening 30-lap race with Hickman four places further back on the grid in 18th.   That gave both riders work to do but the rain had left the Fife venue by the time the opening race got underway although the dry line around the 1.26-mile circuit was only a metre wide when the race started. Both riders made solid starts, with Cumbrian Ellison in 13th at the end of the first lap and Hickman two places further back but by half race distance it was Hickman who was ahead having moved up to 11th place. Ellison was now just one place further back but try as they might, they were unable to make any further impression and so 11th and 12th place finishes was the outcome at the chequered flag.

The second race later in the day saw Lincoln-based Hickman start from seventh place on the third row of the grid with James lining up on the fifth row. Hickman ran strongly right from the outset and although he got pushed back to eighth at half race distance, he moved back up to seventh shortly afterwards, whilst James was also going well in 11th.   The race had been scheduled to be held over 30 laps, but Bradley Ray’s Suzuki expired on the 25th lap, right in front of Hickman, which resulted in the red flag coming out and the race ending early. The results saw Hickman claim sixth place with Ellison in tenth for his best result of the season meaning the weekend ended strongly for both riders.

Peter Hickman: “It’s been a bit of a tough weekend and I’ve struggled in a couple of areas on the track which were losing me a lot of time. The bike worked well in the wet at Brands Hatch but not here so 18th in qualifying was far from ideal and it made life difficult in race one. Given where I started, 11th wasn’t a bad result and I had a much better starting position for race two which made a big difference. I was losing a lot of time going into the Hairpin due to this inherent issue we’re having with the brakes, but I managed to get sixth and are now joint seventh in the championship so we’re slowly getting there.”

James Ellison: “We’re still struggling to get the bike stopped and it’s losing me quite a bit of time but whilst it’s still not the positions I want to be in, I’ve had my best weekend of the year results wise. As always, we made improvements and moved forward all the time and I really enjoyed the second race. It was a bit of a dogfight and positions were changing all the time but it was nice to take my first top ten finish of the year. We’re moving in the right direction so if we can get the issue with the brakes sorted, we’ll be in a lot stronger position.”

Darren Jones, Team Co-ordinator: “I’m reasonably happy with how the weekend’s gone especially as we didn’t have the greatest of times here at Knockhill last year. As both riders have alluded to, we’ve a fundamental issue with the brakes and are desperate to have a test to get everything ironed out which is what we plan to do ahead of the next round. Our qualifying positions didn’t help either rider, but they got solid results and race two was much better for the pair of them. Peter had good race pace and James took his best finish of the year so, overall, it’s been pretty good and we’re heading to some of our better circuits now so will be looking to climb even further up the leaderboard.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (30 laps)

1 Danny Buchan (Kawasaki)

2 Scott Redding (Ducati)

3 Xavi Fores (Honda)

4 Christian Iddon (BMW)

5 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)

6 Bradley Ray (Suzuki)

11 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)

12 James Ellison (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (24 laps)

1 Scott Redding (Ducati)

2 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)

3 Tommy Bridewell (Ducati)

4 Josh Brookes (Ducati)

5 Andrew Irwin (Honda)

6 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)

10 James Ellison (Smiths Racing BMW)

 

Championship Standings (after five rounds)

1 Redding 176pts

2 Bridewell 172

3 Brookes 145

4 Mackenzie 128

5 Buchan 119

6 Fores 96

7 Hickman 76

18 Ellison 18

 

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