The Smiths Racing BMW team enjoyed another superb MCE British Superbike Championship meeting at Cadwell Park this weekend, which was the venue for round eight of the 2017 series, and which saw both Peter Hickman and Lee Jackson finish on the podium.
The historic occasion for the Gloucester-based team came in the day’s second race to record the first time the double British Supersport champions have had two riders on a BSB podium and to make it an extra special day to remember, Jackson also claimed a new lap record with Hickman strengthening his third place overall in the series. In addition, Hickman also won the Monster King of the Mountain Trophy.
At their local track, both Lincolnshire riders were in great form on the Smiths BMW S1000RR during practice and qualifying with Hickman, in particular, shining as he was never out of the top four. A time of 1m 26.346s during Saturday afternoon’s Datatag Extreme qualifying session saw him secure his best ever position of second on the grid for the opening 18-lap race with Jackson just one row further back after claiming an excellent sixth place.
With good conditions at the packed track today, the opening race saw both Hickman and Jackson run with the leading bunch, although Peter had to take evasive action when series leader Shane Byrne nearly crashed in the early stages.
Soon, eight riders became embroiled in a battle for the win, including the two Smiths teamsters, whereby Hickman eventually took fourth place at the flag with Jackson in sixth as just over a second separated the top six after 18 laps.
With the fastest lap of the race, Jackson started race two from pole position and he made the perfect getaway to grab the holeshot and lead for the first four laps, as Peter slotted into fourth.
It was another close race with the leading five riders all together, as Lee upped the lap record in his pursuit of a career-first BSB podium, and after the demise of Byrne and Leon Haslam, it became a three-way battle for the win between Lee, Peter and James Ellison. Ellison grabbed the lead on lap 16 and went on to secure the win but Lee and Peter were right in his wheel tracks at the conclusion of the race to make it a superb day for the Smiths team with two riders on the BSB podium, at a track which saw Billy McConnell clinch their first ever BSB podium a couple of years ago.
Peter Hickman: “The first race was tough and although I didn’t make the best of starts, I was happy to sit in fifth but when Shakey almost crashed at Mansfield, I had to take to the grass as a result. I lost a load of places so coming from a long way back wasn’t easy but I was as fast as anyone and the Smiths BMW was working really well, so fourth was a good end result. In race two, Lee set a really strong pace at the beginning and I was in the mix so I was delighted to pick up another podium. The aim of the weekend was to get more Podium Points and strengthen my position for a Showdown place and I’ve done both so it’s been a great weekend. I’m really happy for Lee and the whole team have done a brilliant job once more so roll on the next round.”
Lee Jackson: “We found some good form last time out at Thruxton so to bring that to Cadwell Park and improve further still has been mega so it’s been fantastic to get my debut BSB podium. In the first race, I was only a second off the race win and definitely had the pace, which was shown with the fastest lap, so to start the second from pole gave me an even better chance. I got by James at the hairpin but thought maybe I’d shown my hand a bit early but we fought for the win all the way to the end so it’s a fantastic result for me. The first half of the season wasn’t the best and we had a few hiccups but hopefully we can maintain this form at the final four rounds so a huge thanks to the team for sticking by me and giving me a great bike.”
Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “Watching the second race was a very nerve-wracking affair so I was glad when it was finally over but we’re simply overjoyed to have two riders on a BSB podium for the first time. Both riders were in superb form all weekend and with Pete strengthening his Showdown position and Lee taking his first BSB podium, it’s been a superb day. We run the team like we run the family business and operate well in the week so that we can come away at the weekend to promote the business but also to enjoy ourselves. There are no sides in the garage and everyone is working towards the same goal and everyone’s hard work is really paying dividends now so we’re eagerly looking forward to the final four rounds and, hopefully, have more days like today.”
MCE British Superbike Championship race one (18 laps)
1 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)
2 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki)
3 Shane Byrne (Ducati)
4 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
6 Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW)
MCE British Superbike Championship race two (18 laps)
1 James Ellison (Yamaha)
2 Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW)
3 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
4 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
5 Christian Iddon (BMW)
6 Tommy Bridewell (Kawasaki)
Championship standings (after eight rounds)
1 Byrne 219pts
2 Haslam 209
3 Hickman 193
4 O’Halloran 178
5 Brookes 167
6 Mossey 161
15 Jackson 65
Round nine of the MCE British Superbike Championship takes place at Silverstone over the weekend of 8/10 September and for further information, please visit www.smithsracing.co.uk and www.britishsuperbike.com.
Pictures courtesy of Jon Jessop Photography: Lee Jackson (L) and Peter Hickman (R) celebrating on the podium and Lee Jackson (14) in action at Cadwell.