Donington BSB: Rear tyre life hampers Hickman

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Picture: Impact Images

Peter Hickman made his 400th race start in the British Superbike Championship at the weekend and, like most of the FHO Racing rider’s season, it was an up and down affair with a mixed bag of results at Donington Park.

Hickman became just the second rider in BSB history, after Michael Rutter, to reach the milestone figure with his 400th start coming in the opening race of the weekend where he placed an excellent third for his second podium of the season

“It’s been a bit of an unusual weekend, the good news is we’ve been fast,” he said afterwards. “It was great to get third in Saturday’s race, after we’d qualified well, and it was a good race. We’d hoped for more of the same on Sunday but it was a bit of a strange one.”

The opening race on Sunday started well, running in fourth place on the opening lap and although Glenn Irwin pushed him back to fifth a lap later, the Louth-based rider was back up to fourth on lap ten. He remained here until lap 16 of 19 when he began to drop back, and eighth place was the eventual outcome.

We had an electronic problem right off the start. I should’ve been in second place going into Craner on the first lap, but it hit straightaway, and I was a little bit tentative for the first few laps and lost a few places. Then towards the end I struggled with the tyres, the rear was shot really early which we didn’t expect.

The team worked hard in between the races to rectify the issues to the extent he missed the formation lap and had to start from the back of the grid. However, the red flag meant a complete re-run and he duly took his place on the second row of the grid although he again dropped back as the race wore on.

“In race three I struggled with tyre life again. We made some changes to try and make it better, but it didn’t help, which is unusual for us. I should’ve been seventh but Ryan (Vickers) got excited on the last corner and passed me. He didn’t touch me but I had to go on the grass and ended up 11th which wasn’t great but it’s just one of those things.”

With just the final round to go, Hickman is sitting in eighth place overall, just six points behind fellow BMW rider Danny Buchan in the race for the BSB Rider’s Cup.