Mixed fortunes for Peter Hickman at Thruxton in British Superbikes

Peter Hickman rode to a fourth and fifth place at Thruxton in round six of the Bennetts British Superbike championship but was unfortunate to have a non-finish in the third race.

The Willoughby rider was anticipating a strong performance at Thruxton as it’s a circuit at which he has always done well.

In free practice he was never out of the top three and ended the sessions in second place. He went on to qualify second and started the first race from the middle of the front row.

As the lights went out he settled into third and briefly held second on lap four before dropping to third on lap five and then fourth on lap seven. But on the final lap he was overtaken by Glenn Irwin and crossed the finish line for fifth place.

The second race saw an amazing performance by Hickman who started from the second row but moved into fourth place on the first lap.

The action was fast and exciting as the top four riders were covered by less than half a second. Hickman remained within 0.3s of the leader and it was anyone’s race until the latter stages of the 20 lap affair when he began to lose touch with the top three on lap 17.

He went on to complete the 20 laps in fourth place but well ahead of Lee Jackson who was over four seconds behind him.

Starting the final race from the second row Hickman didn't get away to the best of starts and dropped back to eighth. But he managed to pull back to sixth on lap two and by lap four was back up to fourth and latched onto the back of the top three. He recorded the fastest lap of the race in his efforts to catch the top three, posting a time of 1m 15.478s - 112.37mph.

Once again the top four riders pulled clear of the pursuing pack and entered into another close and exciting battle for the lead with less than a second between them. But on lap 14 Hickman slowed and cruised back to the pits to retire, robbed of another great result by a small component failure which shut the bike down.

Hickman said: “It was another tough weekend for me. I qualified second with my fastest ever lap around Thruxton on Saturday. Sunday I held on to fourth place in the second race but the DNF in race three was frustrating to say the least. But we take the positives with us to Cadwell for round seven in a couple of weeks.”

Hickman remains in ninth place in the rider standings on 115 points but is 43 points away from a place in the end of season showdown with two rounds remaining.