Top Four For Hickman As Smiths Finish Top BMW Team In BSB 2017

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The Smiths Racing BMW team concluded their 2017 MCE British Superbike Championship season at Brands Hatch where it was a good end to the year with points in all races for Peter Hickman and Lee Jackson, with Hickman claiming an excellent fourth overall in the final points table after the triple-header race weekend.

Strong throughout free practice, Hickman missed out on the final stages of qualifying and had to settle for tenth on the grid for the first of the weekend’s three races yesterday where he battled his way to an eventual seventh place despite an overheating engine causing the clutch to slip.


With glorious conditions at the Kent venue today and in front of the largest Brands Hatch crowd in recent years, Peter completed the first lap of the opening 20-lap race in eighth place and although he slipped back to ninth at one stage, he soon regrouped and by lap 15, he’d jumped back up to sixth where he stayed until the finish.

Lining up on the third row for the third and final race around the 2.43-mile Grand Prix circuit, a slightly sluggish start once more saw the Lincoln rider drop back to tenth place but by half race distance, he’d worked his way back up to eighth and with two more overtaking manoeuvres he took a good sixth place at the chequered flag. With 27 points over the course of the weekend, it also meant he claimed a fine fourth overall in the standings which was both his and the team’s best ever MCE BSB position.

Team-mate Jackson found life difficult during practice and qualifying, starting yesterday’s race from 19th but he took full advantage of other rider’s misfortunes to work his way up to a fine eighth place at the conclusion of the 16-lap race. The Lincoln rider couldn’t quite replicate that form today but the 21 year old scored points in both races with 13th and 14th seeing him complete his season in 16th overall.

Peter Hickman: “It’s been a tough final round and we never quite got the bike set up as I would have liked. I struggled off the line in yesterday’s race and then the bike overheated which caused the clutch to slip so, all things considered, seventh wasn’t bad. The team swapped engines overnight but I got bullied at the beginning of the first race today so I was happy to finish sixth.  We made more changes to the bike for the second race and it was the best it had been all weekend so I was able to be a lot more consistent. I was one of the fastest riders on track at times but the overheating issue returned and I only just managed to hold Dan Linfoot off on the run to the line. I’ve finished every race bar one, have never been lower than ninth and to finish fourth overall behind three world class riders is a good achievement. We were the top BMW team and everyone at Smiths Racing has been fantastic all year so a massive thanks to everyone.”

Lee Jackson: “The weekend started well on Friday and I had a really good feeling with the bike but it didn’t work for me in qualifying. I couldn’t get into a good rhythm so P19 was far from ideal and it left me a lot of work to do in the first race. I regrouped though and worked my way up to tenth and with two good moves, I overtook two riders on the last lap to take a good eighth. Today though, I was struggling again and things didn’t quite click so P13 and P14 wasn’t the way I wanted to end the year. I’m disappointed but it was points in all three races and a big thank you to the Smiths BMW team and all the sponsors for everything they’ve done for me in 2017.”

Rebecca Smith, Team Manager: “We’ve struggled all weekend with different things but we regrouped and both riders scored points in all three races which is definitely something to be pleased with. And with Peter taking fourth overall, we can’t be disappointed especially when you look at the three riders that finished in front of him. I’ve said all year that none of it would be possible without a great team and that’s exactly what we’ve got so a huge thanks to all concerned. We’ll hopefully be back in 2018 for more of the same.”

MCE British Superbike Championship race one (16 laps)
1 Shane Byrne (Ducati)
2 Christian Iddon (BMW)
3 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
4 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)
5 James Ellison (Yamaha)
6 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
7 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
8 Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW)

MCE British Superbike Championship race two (20 laps)
1 Shane Byrne (Be Wiser Ducati)
2 Christian Iddon (BMW)
3 James Ellison (Yamaha)
4 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
5 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
6 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
13 Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW)

MCE British Superbike Championship race three (20 laps)
1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
2 Jason O’Halloran (Honda)
3 James Ellison (Yamaha)
4 Michael Laverty (Yamaha)
5 Christian Iddon (BMW)
6 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
14 Lee Jackson (Smiths Racing BMW)

Final Championship Standings (after 12 rounds)
1 Byrne 637pts
2 Brookes 634
3 Haslam 631
4 Hickman 578
5 O’Halloran 567
6 Dixon 562
16 Jackson 96

For further information, please visit www.smithsracing.co.uk and www.britishsuperbike.com

ENDS

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