Peter Hickman crowned of his 2018 season with three top ten finishes at Brands Hatch last weekend in what was a thrilling end to the years British Superbikes Championship. A 5th, 6th and 9th place finish over the course of the weekend meant Hickman ended the year in overall fifth place for the championship.
Hickman performed strongly throughout free practice on Friday at Brands Hatch and qualified sixth in Saturday’s lunch time session. In the afternoon he lined up on the second row for what was to be the driest of the three races around the 2.43-mile GP circuit in Kent. Hickman carried his form from qualifying into race one, moving up to third position early on before loosing two places from an attempted passing manoeuvre on Dixon which slipped him back into a solid finish for 5th position.
Elsewhere on the track, Be Wiser Ducatti rider Glenn Irwin lead from the front from start to finish to record an impressive race one win, whilst championship leader Leon Haslam secured a sixth place finish that was enough to seal his first British Superbike title before Sunday racing even began.
The following Sunday saw warm sunshine turn to rain overnight as the gloomy conditions, which would come to define the final days racing of the 2018 season, settled in. Hickman’s performance on Saturday granted him a 4th place start for the second race of the weekend at Brands Hatch that would see only fourteen riders finish as very wet track conditions took their toll on some of the strongest riders in the championship. An early slide in lap one saw Hickman fall back deep into 15th position, after which he rallied momentum to stage a strong move back up the field, finishing the race in sixth place but just short of the leading pace.
The final race of Sunday was the last of the 2018 championship season. The championship title had already been decided by Saturday but subsequent positions were still up for grabs for the trailing showdown riders. Hickman started race three in eleventh position following his performance in the morning and conditions had worsened considerably over the course of the day to set the scene for an exciting and potentially troublesome end to the season. Over the course of the race Hickman fought hard against the wet conditions and made his way up to seventh before falling back in to ninth where he maintained his position until the chequered flag.
Peter’s performance at brands hatch resulted in a 5th place finish in the over all season standings.
Peter Hickman: “Really happy to have finished both races today! Myself and Smiths had a tough start to the year, but we managed to turn things around for this second half of the season. All credit goes to the team for that.
P5 in the championship isn’t what we were hoping for but to be so close to 3rd at the final round is excellent. It’s also good to be putting a BMW into the mix, and the Smiths Racing team know how to deliver the best set up on this bike.
I want to thank all of the team, all the team’s sponsors and my personal sponsors for everything this year. It’s been awesome. I also want to say a special thanks to the fans who make such an effort to watch the races every weekend and of course, to the Orange Army, who volunteer their time regardless of the conditions and make the races run smoothly all season.”
Peter will next compete at the Macau GP in China where he will be looking to win his third title around that circuit.