Top Six At Brands Hatch For Hickman

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The Smiths Racing BMW team enjoyed a strong day of racing at Brands Hatch today with Peter Hickman scoring two top ten finishes at round six of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship races to move into the top ten of the overall standings at the half way point of the year.

A solid performance in qualifying yesterday saw Peter start from 11th place on the grid for the first 20-lap race and with an excellent start he slotted into eighth place at the end of the opening lap. Despite slipping back to tenth two laps later, the 31 year old from Lincoln quickly regrouped and by half race distance he was back up into eighth place.


Lap 11 saw him move past Richard Cooper to take over seventh place and with Tarran Mackenzie crashing out of third on the penultimate lap, Hicky was promoted up the order to sixth which was where he finished for ten well-earned points.

The second race saw Peter make a good start but at the second corner, he got pushed wide and he found himself down in 15th place at the end of the first lap. With plenty of work to do, he set about his task diligently and with some good overtaking manoeuvres in the closing stages, he was rewarded with tenth place for his second top ten finish of the day.

With former World Superbike Champion James Toseland in his corner this weekend, team-mate Sylvain Barrier made good improvements during free practice, improving his lap times in each session but after qualifying in 20th place for the opening race of the day, Sunday started in the worst possible way when he crashed at Paddock Hill Bend during morning warm up. He was uninjured but when he went out on the sighting lap, he encountered a technical issue and had to sit the race out.


The Frenchman was forced to start from last place on the grid for the second race and worked his way up to 21st place with some consistent lap times but as the race wore on, an electrical issue meant the bike was cutting out and rather than risk a crash, he pulled in on lap 17. Despite not scoring points across the two races, he was happy with the progress he’d made across the weekend.

Peter Hickman: “Qualifying continues to be my Achilles heel but I’m satisfied with two top ten finishes today, particularly the sixth place in race one. I made a good start in both races and my pace was strong at the end of each of them, but the second race was obviously affected by the coming together which dropped me down the order. The changes we made to the bike this weekend were all positive and although I was losing a bit of time getting onto the straights, I was strong elsewhere so overall it’s been a positive day.”

Sylvain Barrier: “The results don’t show the progress I’ve made this weekend and if it hadn’t been for the crash in morning warm-up, I think we could have scored some points today. The bike is good, but I still need to work harder myself, particularly on my body position as this is sometimes holding me back. It’s been good to have James helping me this weekend as he’s given me some great advice so, hopefully, we can get back in amongst the points next time out.”

Darren Jones, Team Co-ordinator: “Overall, it’s been a good weekend and we’ve learnt a lot as we’ve tried a lot of new things, the majority of which have been positive. Pete’s still struggling to nail qualifying but P6 and P10 are good results and it’s nice to see him back in the top ten in the standings. Although the end results don’t show it, Sylvain’s probably made more progress this weekend than at any other round and the crash in morning warm-up was a strange one as it didn’t look like he’d done anything different. It had a knock-on effect for the rest of the day, but he stayed positive and worked hard so I’m sure he’ll be rewarded for his efforts soon.”

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race one (20 laps)
1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
2 Glenn Irwin (Ducati)
3 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)
4 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki)
5 Christian Iddon (BMW)
6 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
DNF Sylvain Barrier (Smiths Racing BMW)

Bennetts British Superbike Championship race two (20 laps)
1 Josh Brookes (Yamaha)
2 Glenn Irwin (Ducati)
3 Leon Haslam (Kawasaki)
4 Jake Dixon (Kawasaki)
5 Tarran Mackenzie (Yamaha)
6 Christian Iddon (BMW)
10 Peter Hickman (Smiths Racing BMW)
DNF Sylvain Barrier (Smiths Racing BMW)

Bennetts British Superbike Championship Points (after six rounds)
1 Haslam 242pts
2 Dixon 162
3 Irwin 145
4 Brookes 130
5 Ray 115
6 Buchan 111
10 Hickman 68
24 Barrier 5

The seventh round of the Bennetts British Superbike Championship takes place at Thruxton over the weekend of August 3/5th.  For further information, please visit www.smithsracing.co.uk and www.britishsuperbike.com

Pictures courtesy of Double Red: Peter Hickman (60) and Sylvain Barrier (20).

ENDS

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